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Salvage rights on a lake

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Old 02-13-2008, 10:45 AM
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Default Salvage rights on a lake

A few years ago an 18' Checkmate hit a bridge piling and sank. A passenger was killed,and because of the tragedy the boat owner had no interest in retriving the boat. A friend of mine has located it,plans to raise it cause he wants the Mercruiser SS drive.Can he do that and claim the boat legally? This is a non-navigable waterway.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:00 AM
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Laws vary from state to state, so you should get some local advice. Perhaps the following will at least let you know what questions to ask...

Since it is a non-navigable waterway (you should verify this), it is typically treated as any other place. There is a legal concept called abandonment. There are two elements to abandonment of movable property: The physical act of abandoning and the mental element of intent to abandon the property. The first person to pick up abandoned property becomes the owner.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:33 AM
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I'm surprised the DEP or some other agency didn't REQUIRE that it be salvaged simply for environmental reasons. Thinking about it further, I would have expected it to be collected as evidence since there was a death involved. Something doesn't sound right about this.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:36 PM
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Go get it "at night".......but what's a drive that's been at the bottom of a lake a couple years going to be worth anyway????
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:05 PM
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there's probably nothing wrong with the drive from it simply being under water in a lake, they are sealed..........
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:10 PM
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i wouldnt want to own anything that was in that kind of tragedy
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:31 PM
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That was my thought,owner is a friend,his son was driving,his best friend died. Very sad.My friend told me he hoped the boat stayed on the bottom forever,and I agree,but the other guy doesn't think there is anything wrong with salvaging the boats for the parts. I am not involved at all,just wondering if the guy could legally claim it,apparently he can.

Last edited by Magicfloat; 02-13-2008 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:33 PM
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I would not want to be the one at the end of a overzelous lawyer after you get it up....not even worth getting involved with..now if it was a big score..do it.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:39 PM
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I agree,and I repeat,I am not involved at all.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top Ven View Post
i wouldnt want to own anything that was in that kind of tragedy
+1. Sounds like bad karma to me.

I'd advise the friend that the cost of pulling up ($$$ and karma) aren't worth what is a relatively cheap drive.

Also, if the family wants it to stay on the bottom, I'd respect their wishes.
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