FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio -- A sailboat remains stuck on the ice in Fairport Harbor after it broke free from its moorings at a marina along the Grand River, and floated into Lake Erie during one of Northeast Ohio's winter thaws.
On Friday, we spoke to the personal responsible for the sailboat, William Harrison, and asked him about his plan to get it back.
"I got a call that the boat had broken loose and that it was in my name and that I needed to take care of it. They said it's your boat and I said kind of."
Earlier this year, Harrison said he sold the sailboat to another boater; however, he said that person neglected to switch the title, and now even though he has been paid for the sailboat, it appears it's his legal responsibility to remove it.
On Tuesday, the Coast Guard's Neah Bay ice breaker visited the lone sailboat in an attempt to break up the ice jams affecting the waterway; however, in the last few days, the little boat has broken free and moved out even farther. Thankfully, the Coast Guard has been able to secure it.
"The Coast Guard said it's my responsibility to remove it as the registered owner. Scuttling the boat is not an option, and ultimately would lead to even more of an expense trying to bring it up from the bottom. I haven't been close enough to the boat to see anything. I'm assuming there is damage to the boat; big chunks of ice have been smashing it around for the last week or so," Harrison said.
With the help of DroneFOX, we took a look. "The boat is floating. It doesn't appear to have sunk in any, so I'm assuming it really hasn't taken on any water. I see it does have a line out, so it looks like it may be tied off or anchored somewhere. We're going to try and get it in somehow. We're going to try and get out to it; get something attached, a rope, a motor. If we can make it out to it and the water opens up. It seems to be floating. It certainly is a trooper of a boat at this point."
The Coast Guard said if you're leaving your boat in the water, you have to double tie it.
When something like this happens, the owner is ultimately responsible for salvaging it. Luckily, in this case, there are no hazardous conditions for other boaters at this point. Harrison may have to wait until the ice thaws to get it out of the water.