Boat still washed up on shores of Sau­gatuck

The Norwalk Hour - - TOWN NEWS - By So­phie Vaughan svaughan@hearst­medi­; 203-842-2638; @So­phieCVaughan1

WEST­PORT — A con­tro­ver­sial boat that broke free from its moor­ing and washed up on the Sau­gatuck Shores dur­ing a Septem­ber storm has still not been re­moved, and nearby res­i­dents are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly frus­trated.

“You have a case where a guy has pre­sum­ably just aban­doned the boat and stuffed junk on board and I don’t know why our har­bor should let that hap­pen,” said Todd Free­man, a res­i­dent who lives near Sau­gatuck Shores.

Even be­fore the boat washed close to shore dur­ing the Sept. 17 storm, the boat’s owner, Ed Train, re­ceived crit­i­cism from West­port res­i­dents who called his boat di­sheveled.

Train, who lives in We­ston, has main­tained per­mits to dock his two boats at the West­port shore for the past 20 years and him­self ad­mit­ted his boat could use some at­ten­tion.

“It would be easy for some­one not in­volved in the process to say it’s just sit­ting there and noth­ing’s hap­pen­ing, but that’s ab­so­lutely not the case,” Train said, adding he has worked on for­mu­la­tion of a plan to re­move the boat every day since it be­came un­moored.

Fi­nan­cial chal­lenges have made it dif­fi­cult to hire a sal­vage com­pany to re­move the boat, Train said.

Free­man and other res­i­dents who live near Train’s washed-up boat reached out to First Select­man Jim Marpe with con­cerns, in­clud­ing the boat may hit tele­phone and power wires close to the shore.

“There’s a chance the boat will break up, and if it does, you’re go­ing to have a se­ri­ous mess on the beach, Free­man said.

At the time Train’s boat washed up on the Sau­gatuck, on­look­ers re­ported an oily smell and ex­pressed con­cern con­tam­i­nants may have leaked from the boat.

“It presents the town with a very tricky sit­u­a­tion in de­ter­min­ing who is re­spon­si­ble for re­mov­ing pri­vate prop­erty from pri­vate prop­erty,” Marpe said. He noted the boat has to be re­moved dur­ing an as­tro­nom­i­cal high tide, which won’t oc­cur for an­other two to three weeks.

“The town is not pay­ing for it. That’s in part why this has taken so long. It’s a chal­lenge for Ed to fund it. That’s where we’ve had to be care­ful as a com­mu­nity as to how much we could or couldn’t do to en­sure tax­payer money won’t be in­volved,” Marpe said.

Deputy Po­lice Chief Sam Ar­ci­ola has worked to help Train fa­cil­i­tate re­moval of the boat. “This is un­like your nor­mal boat. It’s a ce­ment sail­ing ves­sel, which is large and much heav­ier than other ves­sels,” Ar­ci­ola said.

De­spite the bar­ri­ers to re­moval, Train said he ex­pects the boat to be gone by the end of the month and is taking away every item from the boat in the in­ter­ven­ing time to make it lighter. Some res­i­dents have been sup­port­ive while oth­ers have been less so, Train said.

“Peo­ple that are sup­port­ive look at me like I’m a vic­tim of Mother Na­ture and cir­cum­stances, and the peo­ple who are neg­a­tive look at it like I in­ter­rupted their nar­ra­tive of a pic­ture-per­fect West­port,” Train said.

Con­trib­uted photo

Ed Train’s boat, which be­came un­moored dur­ing a storm in Septem­ber, has still not been re­moved from the Sau­gatuck Shore.

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