The sailboat that sailed on warm winds now abandoned

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By Lee Scott

There is a sad little boat sitting on the shore along Sea Island Parkway. The name of the boat is Sirocco and she has been there since the morning of Oct. 8, 2016.

That is when Hurricane Matthew pushed the waters of the Beaufort River and with it Sirocco to the shore. She sits there along with five other sailboats and a power boat named Wave Dancer. Although two of the boats are hidden by trees, if you look closely you can see their masts sticking up in the reeds.

The name Sirocco fascinated me, and when I researched it I discovered it means “warm wind.” This was a name given to the wind blowing from the Libyan desert over to Italy.  

As a sailor, myself, I can appreciate the name Sirocco. It conjures up beautiful days on the water with the sails pulled in and a nice warm 10-15 knot breeze.

I think that is why it is so sad to see her aground. What happened to the owner? What happened to someone who so loved to go sailing that he would name her Sirocco and then abandon her? 

This is evidently a common problem along the coastal waters. People who can no longer afford their boats abandon them in creeks and rivers. Sometimes, an owner dies and the family does not know where the boat is located. 

So, what happened to the sailor who owned Sirocco?  Did his insurance lapse and he could not afford to remove her after the storm? Or had she already been abandoned? If so, why?  

Even sitting on the bank, it appears there may be some salvageable items on the boat. There are numerous companies in the sailboat salvage business. They make money by salvaging the parts of these sore sights, which potentially could become environmental hazards.  

Did any of the seven boat owners know there were other avenues to pursue rather than just anchor them off Lady’s Island?

Regardless of the reasons, when I pass Sirocco a part of me wants to get out of my car and climb aboard. I want to go below and pull out her sailing log to see where she has been. I am sorry that the warm winds of South Carolina have brought you to this place, Sirocco, but you need to find a new home now.

Abandoned boats have an orange sign posted by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources asking for information regarding the owners of the vessels. The phone number is 800-922-5431.
Abandoned boats have an orange sign posted by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources asking for information regarding the owners of the vessels. The phone number is 800-922-5431.