The number of boats missing from hurricane Ian are in the thousand in Southwest Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is establishing a special hotline to help.

This is common scene across Southwest Florida. Boats in ditches, roadways and homeowners front yards. In addition, social media sites are teaming with photos of boats in yards. The photo is followed with a question, asking “Are you missing your boat?”

boat in road

If that describes you and you want to report a boat on your property that is not yours, FWC has a few instructions. Look for the vessel’s registration number. Take notice of all details such as it’s color, its type, its name, etc.

Then finally, call this number, 850-488-5600. The Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

Things to know if your boat is missing.

If  your boat is derelict, you have 45 days to either remove it from the water of the state or bring it into a non-derelict condition. That 45 day mark starts on September 28th, when Ian hit.

However, if you lack the resources to have your boat repaired, or if it is beyond repair, you can release ownership of it. Call that hotline for information on how to do that.

In a press release, Boating and Waterways Section Leader Maj. Rob Beaton says, “FWC officers are diligently working to determine the current number and ownership of storm-related displaced vessels across the state. We are committed to helping boat owners find their vessels and facilitate the removal of vessels from state waters that are posing a threat to the environment or blocking waterways.”

boat in road

A boat blocks a road in Bonita Springs following Hurricane Ian.

If you have a boat missing from Hurricane Ian or have someone else’s missing boat on your property perhaps this hotline can help you. For more Hurricane Ian recovery info, you can click here.