NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – There’s a major effort underway to get Alyssa out of the Elizabeth River.
Alyssa, in this case, isn’t a person it is a boat, and the latest abandoned vessel to be yanked from an area waterway — all with the goal of a safer sail for others.
We’ve reported on Alyssa before, and spent months abandoned on the Elizabeth River.
She is not alone.
For 18 months, 10 On Your Side has covered the removal of 25 vessels, including Alyssa.
Wednesday, we went back to the Alyssa to say goodbye.
“So, the Alyssa is a real great success story where WAVY’s exposure encouraged the owner to actually reach out to VDRF (the Vessel Disposal & Reuse Foundation),” said Mike Provost of the Vessel Disposal and Reuse Foundation.
In our report on the Alyssa, Provost told us if he gets permission from the owner, he can tow away the Alyssa, and get this, Provost said the owner was watching the report.
“So, he reached out on Instagram, and he wants to do the right thing,” Provost said, “and he’s able to contribute some funding towards the project, and with his approval, we are going to remove and dispose of this boat.”
So, Provost, Captain Jay Leach of Atlantic Launch’s Cape Henry Express and First Mate Jake Smith made the trip to begin to take the Alyssa to the scrapyard.
We asked Provost, did the owner explain why he abandoned the vessel?
“No, and I didn’t get into it with him,” Provost said.
Provost doesn’t care, he just wants permission to tow,
“I don’t care, just give us permission and we are towing it out of here,” Provost said. “That is right, we are going to remove the environmental hazard, which is our mission and our focus.”
Thanks to the owner for giving permission, and for financially helping, which is very unusual for abandoned vessel owners to do,
“With the help of the Atlantic Launch, we’re going to tow this vessel to Hodges and Hodges Enterprises, where we’re going to pull it out of the water, demolish it and then dispose of it.”
Virginia Beach Del. Barry Knight, who following one of our reports, secured $3 million for a fund to help pay for removing abandoned vessels.
The program is getting underway, and Knight reported Virginia Beach is filing applications.
Leach towed Alyssa to Hodges and Hodges Enterprises, a full-service marine contractor, where she now sits, awaiting demolition.