HURRICANE HARVEY: BoatUS team in Texas to start salvage operations

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This photo from the BoatUS Catastrophe Team shows Cove Harbor Marina and Drystack in Rockport, Texas, which took a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey. BoatUS cautions boaters to never enter a storm-affected facility without permission. Photo courtesy of BoatUS

This photo from the BoatUS Catastrophe Team shows Cove Harbor Marina and Drystack in Rockport, Texas, which took a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey. BoatUS cautions boaters to never enter a storm-affected facility without permission. Photo courtesy of BoatUS

Hurricane Harvey-ravaged Cove Harbor Marina and Drystack in Rockport, Texas, is asking customers not to attempt to access the site by land or by water.

“We have not been cleared to allow any outside access due to potential danger, including debris, fuel and other potential hidden dangers,” the marina said on its website. “No trespassing whatsoever is allowed on the site.”

BoatUS stressed that boaters should never enter a storm-damaged marina without permission.

The BoatUS Catastrophe Team is in Texas now attempting to begin salvage operations, said Scott Croft, vice president of public affairs for BoatUS.

“The BoatUS Catastrophe Team is on the ground and we are starting salvage operations today — but I don’t believe at Cove Harbor just yet. This building will likely have to be dismantled to remove the boats safely,” Croft told Trade Only Today in an email on Wednesday. “Things are still going very slow.”

The team reported that Aransas Pass, Port Aransas and Rockport are the hardest-hit areas for recreational boats.

To help affected boat owners with the recovery effort, BoatUS has issued tips to get the salvage process started quickly to protect and preserve the value of any boat harmed by the storm.

First, if a boat has washed ashore, owners should remove as much equipment as possible and move it to a safe place to protect it from looters and vandals.

“It’s a good idea to put your contact information somewhere conspicuously on the boat — along with a ‘No Trespassing’ sign,” BoatUS said in a statement.

The boat insurance provider advised never climbing in or on boats that have been piled together or are dangling precariously from dock pilings or other obstructions and to never try to enter a storm-affected marina or boat storage facility without permission.

The company also urged boaters to try to protect boats from further damage by covering them with a tarp or boarding up broken windows. All wet materials should be removed, but saved for insurance purposes.

Lastly, engines and other machinery that were submerged or have gotten wet should be "pickled" by flushing them with fresh water and then filled with diesel fuel or kerosene.

To learn how to pickle a boat motor, click here.

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