LACEY – It’s gone but not quite forgotten. For nearly two years the shipwreck of Oxgoose Lagoon proved an unsightly annoyance but at long last it has been removed from one of the township’s popular waterways.
The boat sat perched and abandoned in the lagoon and while no hidden treasure could be found aboard her, the salvage costs were something that the township would rather not have had to pay.
The cost for her removal were picked up by Lacey Township according to Township Clerk/Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh who noted during a previous Township Committee meeting that the county would be handling taking the unsightly vessel away but first the township had to take ownership of it.
The craft, a 1982 Trojan, 32-foot vessel, fiberglass cabin, gas fuel model was abandoned and became a familiar sight around 828 Oxgoose Drive. Laureigh said the owner didn’t live in the area of the lagoon.
She said the owner “just abandoned it there, probably like two years ago. It is quite a process to try and get in touch with the original owner who is very transient in his living arrangements.”
Laureigh said that while the State Police say abandoned boats are their jurisdiction “they won’t remove them unless it is a pollutant hazard.”
She confirmed that beyond it having been unsightly in the lagoon and adjacent to a private property it had also become “an attractive nuisance to the kids in the area.”
Laureigh added the township had to go through a very lengthy process with the state Motor Vehicle Commission (formerly DMV) “and the first time we sent all the paperwork, DMV misplaced it all so we had to perform the process for contacts, advertising all over again because DMV requires all original proofs of service.”
“The county agreed to remove it at our cost,” Laureigh said. The boat was moved to Meadowlark Beach where it was demolished and taken to a local landfill.
Part of the process involved in its removal meant the township had to supply “the county with a hold harmless and a certificate of insurance for protection,” Laureigh said.
Residents in that area of Lanoka Harbor weren’t pleased with the sight of the Oxgoose Drive submerged boat which has been there since October 2018.
Michele Annese who lives on Sandpiper Drive near Oxgoose Drive wrote to the governing body with a full account of just how the shipwreck occurred. She said the owner “tied his boat to my neighbor’s property. He apparently cannot be located. The boat sank that evening.”
She recalled that the Coast Guard, State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Lacey Township Police, amongst others, were called.
Annese added in her letter written prior to its removal “nothing has been done due to the costs of removing the boat from the water. I cannot fathom why we have to endure seeing this monstrosity throughout our summer. As a taxpayer it is very disheartening.”
“Although the vessel has been deemed safe, divers were sent in; would you allow your own children to swim there? We take great pride in keeping our lagoon clean as well as our homes,” she added.
The resident is no doubt relieved that the boat is now an absent sight in the lagoon because, “to have to look at this eye sore every time we leave the lagoon is ridiculous.
Annese feared at the time that the vessel’s presence would hurt her next-door neighbor’s effort in selling his home but now the great eyesore of the Oxgoose Lagoon has vanished and will become a distant memory along with another bill for the township to pay.