High Winds Damage, Destroy Boats


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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- High winds battered dozens of boats at local marinas and yacht clubs, sinking some and pushing others out into Lake Erie.

Ferocious waves that battered the shores of Lake Erie Monday damaged or destroyed dozens of boats still docked in the water along the shoreline.

"I see two sailboats that are sunk, I see two sailboats that are on the wall and one that's beached," said boat owner Rich Mahon.

The marina at Whiskey Island on Cleveland's West Side was hit hard due to the remnants of Sandy. At least three power boats and four sailboats are now underwater. Dozens more are damaged after the docks they were tied to broke away during the storm.

"From what I can see, both of the engines are pretty much shot. There's some structural damage to the outside. I don't even know if it's taken on water yet," said John Prologo, whose boat was damaged.

"You can't do nothing about Mother Nature, no matter how hard you got it tied down, it happens. It's unfortunate, but sad," said Dave Faber, whose boat was also damaged.

Faber estimates the damage to his boat at $15,000.

"We come down yesterday to try to tie it off and to secure it, and next thing we know, all the ropes started breaking, and she went down," said Tom Buckel.

Boat owners at the neighboring Edgewater Marina were also shocked by what they found on Tuesday. Officials believe at least 30 boats sank in the storm and many more were damaged.

"It's a disaster. I can't imagine what these people down on the coast went through," said boat owner Don Henderson.

All day, the U.S. Coast Guard visited marinas and yacht clubs along Lake Erie, inspecting boats and making sure no one was hurt.

"We're out doing harbor patrols, which includes assessing the local marinas, the local waterways. We're looking for pollution, we're looking for sunken vessels, we're looking for anything overtly hazardous to navigation," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Sara Cahill.

The Coast Guard plans to continue inspections over the next few days. They say so far, Edgewater and Whiskey Island marinas appear to have been affected the most.

To read about damage to boats at other area marinas, click here.

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