FWC removes 100th vessel through Vessel Turn-In Program

Since the inception of The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Vessel Turn-In Program (VTIB) in late 2022, the FWC has received 186 applications from owners of at-risk or unwanted vessels. The first two vessels removed through this program were removed from Pasco and Pinellas counties in early March 2023 and the 100th vessel was removed from Wakulla County on June 7.

VTIP is a key component of Florida’s derelict vessel prevention program. This voluntary program is designed to help owners dispose of their unwanted at-risk vessels before they become derelict. Upon approval of an application, VTIP will take a surrendered vessel and dispose of it at no cost to the boat owner. Removing the vessel before it deteriorates into a derelict condition will prevent legal ramifications for the vessel owner, protect Florida’s valuable seagrass resources, marine life and human life, safety, and property and save Florida taxpayers money.

To qualify for VTIP, a vessel must be floating upon waters of the state of Florida and cannot be determined derelict by law enforcement. The owner must have at least one written warning or citation for an at-risk condition and possess a clear title to the vessel.

The latest vessel removed will not be the last. More applications are being reviewed and there are 15 slated for removal. The FWC is actively taking applications from at-risk vessel owners for the Vessel Turn In Program. Vessel owners can call VTIP specialists at the FWC for more information on the program at 850-488-5600 or visit the VTIP website at MyFWC.com/boating and click on “Vessel Turn-In Program” on the second slider at the top of the page.

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