The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is now accepting applications for a recently approved and newly created Vessel Turn-In Program, a key component of Florida’s derelict vessel prevention program.
VTIP is a voluntary program designed to help owners dispose of their unwanted at-risk vessels before they become derelict. Upon approval of an application, VTIP will take a surrendered vessel and dispose of it at no cost to the boat owner. Removing the vessel before it deteriorates into a derelict condition will prevent legal ramifications for the vessel owner and will protect Florida’s valuable seagrass resources, marine life, and human life, safety, and property.
A derelict vessel upon waters of the state is a criminal offense and can carry serious penalties and fines or possible jail time.
“Acting now is the best way to prevent legal action from occurring if the vessel becomes derelict,” said Phil Horning, VTIP Administrator.
To qualify for VTIP, a vessel must be floating upon waters of the state of Florida and cannot be determined derelict by law enforcement. The owner must have at least one written at-risk warning or citation and possess a clear title to the vessel.
To apply for or view program guidelines, visit MyFWC.com/VTIP or call the FWC Boating and Waterways Division at 850-488-5600 for more information.