A Florida couple were forced to pay to have a Cuban boat removed from their property after the government took 20 people into custody but left the vessel. Jack Bartkus explained that he was left to deal with the seacraft or either risk a felony, saying, “about 20 people that rode on this boat from Cuba and [the government] took the people into custody [but] they didn’t do anything with the boat.” “They left it here and just discarded it. So it became my problem,” he added. Bartkus also told Miami news channel WSVN that he was forced to pay to clean the boat which cost him at least $2,500.
Key Colony Beach officials have warned local residents, “If any vessel ends up on your private property [it] becomes your problem. This rule of law is both inconvenient and a bit expensive, but it is the law.” Sue Bartkus was also threatened with a felony if she didn’t prevent the boat from floating out to sea. “So you’re just supposed to let it destroy your pier, your docks, your seawalls, and you’re supposed to have to get rid of it,” lamented Bartkus.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was quick to respond to the situation, and in a video address he let Floridians know, “There’s vessels left everywhere on people’s property. We declared a state of emergency. We provided the Coast Guard the assistance that they’ve asked for. We are going to clear the vessels free of charge for those residents because it wasn’t their fault. Maybe we’ll send the bill to Biden. We’ll see”