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WPEC channel 12

An overturned yacht in Florida has become a dangerous playground for kids and adults


An overturned yacht in Florida has become a dangerous playground for kids and adults

An abandoned yacht off the coast of Palm Beach has not been moved since since it crashed on Sept. 7.

Officials are now saying taxpayers will have to pay to remove it. The longer it sits there, the greater the chance that someone might get hurt.

Kids, and even some adults, are using this 72-foot yacht, called "Time Out,"  like an aquatic playground. Some can't resist the challenge of seeing if they can get on top of it.

Others use it as a make-out spot. 

You have the blades sitting out still. You still have no grips on the side of the boat. So anyone walking on top of it could slip.
Logan Padron

Some beachgoers say it's time somebody gets the yacht out of here.

"A lot of people who climb over it have been drinking a little bit," said Logan Padron, a beachgoer who was standing nearby. He worries a child or adult could get cut on the propeller blades.

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Tom Baker - Owner of the Yacht

According to the Palm Beach Police, 63-year-old Thomas Baker was drunk while trying to navigate his yacht into the Palm Beach inlet. He instead crashed into the shore and abandoned ship. He admitted he'd been drinking Long Island ice teas. 

Baker made it to land, but left the beach in handcuffs. 

Officers arrested him after his BAC level tested almost twice the legal limit, with readings at .149 and .155.

This is Baker's second BUI offense. He was charged with boating under the influence just two weeks prior to this crash.

"BUI has historically been treated differently than DUI and boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving under the influence and he is a classic repeat offender," said Attorney Gary Lesser. 

If you get a BUI theoretically things are supposed to happen. You aren't supposed to be behind the boat of another vessel and there he was.
Attorney Gary Lesser

For Lesser it serves as a reminder as to why boating under the influence should be taken more seriously. Last year, Florida tried to pass a bill that would link driving and BUI. That bill failed.

Baker's next court date is set for Oct. 6.

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