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East Hampton floats $15G loan to remove boat sinking in harbor

The Sylvia S in the Montauk dock on

The Sylvia S in the Montauk dock on July 17. Officials said the wooden dragger began leaking two weeks ago. Credit: Mike Martinsen

A private fishing boat that had been slowly sinking at the East Hampton Town dock in Montauk was hauled offshore Monday after the town board picked up the $15,000 tab, officials said.

The Sylvia S, a 63-year-old wooden dragger, was taken out of the water by Gone Fishing Marina in Montauk about two weeks after the vessel began leaking, Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said.

The insurance coverage on the 46-foot boat had expired. The vessel is registered to Chris Wood, of Amagansett. Officials said they did not know whether it belongs to Wood Sr. or his son with the same name, and neither could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Town officials had to step in to assure that the boat — which was being kept afloat by water pumps — would not sink at the town dock, where its owner was renting a slip, and become “even more of a concern,” Cantwell said.

The town board voted at a work session Tuesday to authorize a $15,000 contract with Gone Fishing for hauling and disposing of the boat, which had been one of the oldest in Montauk Harbor. It was built in 1954 and previously named the “Mary Moon.”

Cantwell said the board is essentially acting as the guarantor for the boat owner, who has signed a contract to reimburse the town, Cantwell said.

“We were trying to preclude a possible environmental issue as well as a very costly sinking,” Cantwell said, adding that the vessel needs to be retired.

“It’s a very old commercial fishing boat that I remember as almost new when I was a kid,” said Cantwell, 66.

The boat is being kept at the private Gone Fishing Marina until its disposal, officials said.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the age of The Sylvia.

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