The owner of a shipwreck turned tourist attraction that has been stuck on Jacksonville Beach for more than two weeks has a deadline from the state to remove the 40-foot vessel from the shore.
Luke Rehberg said he was floating off the coast to watch the air and sea show a few weekends ago when the anchor broke, the engine failed and the waves pushed the craft onto the beach.
Rehberg said the state will take over the boat and start the process of removing it on Nov. 16 as he works to move forward from this situation.
“I’ve been able to move most of my personal belongings. At this point, there’s very little chance of it getting back in the water. It looks like it’s going to be recovered by the state of Florida,” he said.
The rare site has drawn the attention of many sightseers — local and out of town.
Bonnie Will is one of those visitors from out of state.
“I just drove from Greenville, South Carolina, for six and a half hours, walked out on this beautiful beach and the first thing I see is this awesome boat, so it’s pretty exciting to see,” Will said.
Many others like Will were on the beach Wednesday afternoon to take pictures of and with the the stranded boat.
Raja Asim is a boat enthusiast who’s visited the site several times since coming into town a few days ago.
“Wonderful experience, especially since I’m interested in wanting a boat like that myself. It’s a good idea to look at it closely and read the inspector’s notice on it so it gives me a better perspective on it,” said Asim, who was visiting from North Carolina.
Rehberg said he is doing his best to close this chapter.
“Just trying to get this situation taken care of cleanly and safely and move on to try to build another boat and get back on the water,” he said.
Since the state is taking over the boat, Rehberg plans to use the donations from the GoFundMe to help pay the expected bill from the state.