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Improving safety in the Exe Estuary

Published: 13 March 2020

Turf Lock Boat Removal The removed yacht at Turf Lock

Wrecked boats continue to be cleared from the Exe Estuary.

Exeter City Council’s harbour patrollers are removing the wrecks to improve navigation and prevent environmental damage. Last year the City Council became the port authority for the Exe estuary and is responsible for ensuring it remains safe for all its users.

The team has discovered 25 abandoned boats on the Exe, in varying forms of decay. If left in the water the wrecks represent a danger to users of the waterway and wildlife.

The latest vessel to be removed was an old fibreglass yacht that was abandoned near Starcross. On Friday 13 March the boat was towed out of the estuary, up the Ship Canal and taken away for breaking up.

Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for City Management and Environment, said: “We do everything possible to locate the owners of these wrecks so that they can be lifted out of the Exe and disposed of responsibly.

“However it is not always possible to locate the owners and we have to take the matter into our own hands. Wrecked vessels can be a hazard to other boats using the Exe and if left to decay can break up, leaching oil and petrol into the water, which can be fatal to wildlife.”

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