VIDEO: Low water prompts removal of boats from Great Salt Lake

Historically low water levels at the Great Salt Lake in Utah have forced a marina and boat owners to lift 45 boats out of the water.
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Historically low water levels at the Great Salt Lake in Utah have forced a marina and boat owners to lift 45 boats out of the water.

Boats are being taken out of the Great Salt Lake Marina in Magna and stored for the summer.

Lines and lines of sailboats occupy the parking lot of the marina after volunteers helped lift 45 boats out of the water Thursday. Lake resident Evan Smith told a Salt Lake City TV station that it was a “sad day.”

“We have a boat out here,” he told Fox 13. “We’ve had it here for 15 years.”

Harbormaster Dave Shearer said this is a historic year. It’s the first time in 30 years that boats have been removed from the marina.

“We’ve had a catastrophic winter as far as moisture this year, and unfortunately that means Great Salt Lake Marina is very shallow,” he said. “We have to get these boats out of the water before they get stuck in the mud.”

Dozens of boat owners and volunteers showed up Thursday to help remove them. It was a full day’s work and owners paid about $230 apiece to have their boat removed.

“Everyone’s known for a while that they’re going to have to pull their boats out,” Smith said. “There’s a big email list that goes around for all the slip holders.”

Shearer said there are plans to dredge the marina to make it deeper so boats won’t have to be moved in the future.

“We’re going to be dredging this fall,” he said. “And once we dredge, we should be able to get all the boats back into the marina.”

Smith said it’s unfortunate that he won’t be sailing this summer.

“Yeah, we’re really going to miss it, you know. This is one of the few hobbies that we have,” he said.

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