Dilapidated boat will stay until sea turtles go



MELBOURNE, Fla. - A dilapidated boat has been sitting on Melbourne Beach all month, but the county can't move it, because is sitting in the middle of sea-turtle nests.

The  makeshift raft washed ashore near David Thompson's house in Melbourne Beach on Oct. 1.

"You have to think it came from Cuba right now. It could have come from the Bahamas for some reason or another, but there are easier ways to do it," said Thompson.

Coast Guard officials said they don't know where the motor-powered raft's passengers are, and they cannot find anything that could tell them where the 20-foot craft came from.

Because the boat is sitting among sea-turtle nests, it can't be moved before November.

Officials said they are concerned that bringing a large county truck onto the beach to move the boat could damage the nests.

Officials said they can't dismantle the boat and remove it piece-by-piece because of the heavy V8 engine that is attached to it.

They said they will haul it away as soon as turtle nesting season wraps up next month.

"The whole thing is a mystery. It's great. It's a great story," said Thompson.

If the county isn't able to move the boat and engine, they said they would have to pay a contractor around $3,000 to get rid of it.