Yulee man sentenced, fined in felony dumping of derelict vessel
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525
A Yulee man was sentenced to 60 days in jail and one year of
probation as well as fined $1,965 for illegally dumping a derelict
vessel in Nassau County.
Daniel Ray Thomas (DOB 07/02/85) was charged with third-degree
felony dumping in May after the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) received a call from the Jacksonville
Sheriff's Office that a boat had been dumped in the water at Wilson
Neck Boat Ramp in Yulee.
FWC Officer Tim Shearer responded to the complaint and saw the
1968 15-foot Thunderbird pleasure craft on a mud bank with the bow
beginning to sink. The Florida registration was still visible.
"I wasn't able to contact the owner to determine if the
registration had been transferred. However, I did have a witness
who saw the boat being dumped by the suspect," Shearer said.
"Thomas had left town, but the fact that he set the vessel adrift
in the water and never registered it in his name gave probable
cause that he intended to abandon it."
Shearer met with the state attorney and filed charges against
Thomas for illegal dumping in excess of 500 pounds, which is a
Thomas was later arrested on the warrant and pleaded guilty to
dumping the vessel. He was ordered to pay for the costs of removing
the boat from the water.
"This is a prime example of what it can cost people
who dump vessels that they no longer want," said Capt. Richard
Moore of the FWC's Boating and Waterways Section.
"Abandoned and derelict vessels can pose safety and
navigational hazards as well as become eyesores in Florida's
beautiful waterways," Moore said.
The FWC has an at-risk vessel program to educate
people who leave vessels on Florida's waterways in a condition that
may lead them to become derelict.
The FWC hopes this program will reduce the derelict
vessel problem in the state by engaging boat owners in
conversations about proper care and maintenance, requirements for
vessel lighting and laws about title transfer. Someone may transfer
a boat to someone else who may allow it to deteriorate. Without a
proper title transfer, the original owner is still responsible.
The FWC is committed to networking with other law
enforcement agencies and the public to prevent at-risk vessels from
A statewide at-risk and derelict vessel map, as
well as additional information about the program, is available at