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BEHIND THE SCENES: Sailboat remains stranded in Elliot Lake parking lot

ElliotLakeToday editor Carol Martin takes us behind the scenes

The owner of the abandoned sailboat that has been stranded in the Dunlop Lake Boat Launch parking lot has been in contact with both the City of Elliot Lake and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Steve Acorn, MOE District Manager Blind River-Sault Ste. Marie District, placed a notice on the boat back in December, stating that it had been placed on Crown land without authority and could be sold, disposed of, or destroyed if not removed within seven days, at the owner's expense. The owner contacted Acorn after the notice was posted and attempted to remove the boat before it got damaged by the ice but was unsuccessful.

Recently, Acorn found that the boat had been removed from the water and is now waiting to see what the owner will do with it. Concerned about the plan for the boat, city staff posted a notice requesting that the owner contact them. The owner reached out shortly after the notice was posted and the MOE is now waiting to see what will happen with the boat.

While investigating the condition of the boat and checking if it was still in the parking lot, ElliotLakeToday reporter Kris Svela met Jim Hunink, who had spoken with the owner in November. According to Hunink, the owner was trying to pull the boat out at the Dunlop boat launch just prior to ice in, but got sick and had to go to the hospital. Hunink has not seen the owner since then and said that the owner was not from or living in Elliot Lake. The boat has suffered heavy damage and has been gutted on the inside.

Video summary:
The city of Elliot Lake was searching for the owner of an abandoned sailboat found in the parking lot of the Dunlop Lake boat launch. The owner of the boat had sent a letter over the weekend to ElliotLakeToday, providing a little bit of the backstory on how the boat came to be there. Apparently, the gentleman had lived in Elliot Lake for about 10 years and brought the boat there to get his nephews or grandnephews off their screens. The boat was left in the parking lot due to heavy damage from the ice.

The team at ElliotLakeToday went through quite a process to get this story. It started with an email received by Village Media editor Bernie O’Neill, which was turned into a story. Chris Kris Svela from ElliotLakeToday took pictures of the boat and found a sticker on the boat with a name and phone number of a person at the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Carol phoned the number and Mr. Acorn got back to her, saying he had been talking with the boat owner. The boat owner responded over the weekend.

The boat was pretty heavily damaged by the ice, and there are some significant cracks in the boat as well. It is unclear if it is in shape to be trailed or not. The MOE has not outlined any steps they may take if the owner doesn't take action to remove the boat from Crown land at this point in time. They are giving the owner some time to see what he needs to do with the boat.