Southern Brooklyn

Photos: Last Sunken Boat Removed From Bay


The final sailboat sunken in the bay during a wild wind- and rainstorm eight months ago was pulled out of the frigid waters Friday morning.

The 20-foot sailboat was one of about a dozen vessels ripped from moorings and sent slamming into the bay’s bulkheads and footbridge in March. Private companies removed all but two of the boats over the months that followed, and city agencies teamed up for a historic removal of a 30-foot boat in May.

The same team of agencies responsible for that first-time effort – Department of Sanitation’s Derelict Vehicles Operations Unit, NYPD’s Harbor Unit and Scuba Team, and the Parks Department – reunited last week to pull the last vessel out of the waters near the Holocaust Memorial Park, on Shore Boulevard and Amherst Street. It’s the second time these teams have ever done it, and the experience from the first effort combined with the low-tide and smaller boats made for a much faster operation.

The boat was taken to the Sanitation Department’s Floyd Bennett Field facility for dismantling and disposal.

The team also pulled out what we’ll dub a Sheepshead Mollusk, a barnacled bike that got tangled with the boat’s cables. We’re not sure what the city will do with it, but Aquaman may have a poor nephew that we can donate it to.

That was an awful joke.

Here’s a photo gallery from the operation:

Comment policy


  1. If you clicked on the link back to the original article, you’d see. It was city history – these agencies have never removed a boat from waters before. Sure, it’s not like they broke the sound barrier, but it shows some ingenuity on their part, and they deserve the credit for figuring out a solution under constraints that private contractors don’t have.

  2. The reason it was historic was because this had never happened before May. The City Agencies involved had never undertaken anything of the kind prior to this salvage. The Sanitation crew involved is responsible for removing cars that are abandoned. This is the first time all the Agencies worked together to remove a boat from the water. To compound the problem the boats were submerged which made it even more difficult.

  3. How about the City cleans up Sheepshead Bay so people could actually swim in it like they used to for leisure in 1895 way back when in those postcards…

  4. Heck, I used to dive off that bridge in the late 60’s. We had to watch which side we jumped off because of the debris.

  5. From what I understand, the water is actually a whole lot cleaner than it has been in about a century. Do remember, though, that it’s a man-made marina housing gas-powered vessels in the middle of the city, with a sewage plant nearby. There’s only so much “cleaning” you can do.

  6. You really have to stop using strong language like “heck”. What will people think? Will all the nanny sensors go off?

    Seriously though, swimming must have been difficult.

  7. Some kids used to jump off the light poles during high tide.
    The water does seem cleaner than in the past years.
    Many different water fowl are feeding on the small fish.
    People are scooping up crabs.
    I don’t think I would swim in it just because I would have a hard time getting in and out, not as flexible as I was 40 odd years ago. LOL

  8. It is much cleaner. 40 years ago the only fish I’d see in the bay were goldfish.

    I never could dive. I’d always hit the water before I expected to.

  9. This is not the first time that Sanitation’s DVO unit has removed a boat from the water, you just never hear about it. Also they don’t just remove abandoned cars from the street, this unit removes anything abandoned on the streets from hot dog carts and port-a-potties to trucks and heavy equipment.

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