Playa Del Rey residents voice concern after high tide washes up unattended boats and debris on shore

On Sunday, Los Angeles County Lifeguards responded to another beached boat at Dockweiler beach.

Ashley Mackey Image
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Boats, debris wash up on LA beaches after strong winds and high tide
On Sunday, Los Angeles County Lifeguards responded to another beached boat at Dockweiler beach.

PLAYA DEL REY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Southern California has been hit with some rain and strong winds lately, and Playa Del Rey residents say that doesn't help their growing ship graveyard.

Residents say at least four boats have been illegally left unattended and became unanchored and washed ashore, leaving residents to deal with the mess.

Playa Del Rey resident Bobby Wilt says owners will sometimes leave their boats unattended for weeks at a time.

"The whole neighborhood comes out to see every time a boat gets washed up to shore," said Wilt. "And you see the debris, you see the oil, you see the environmental issues caused by these shipwrecks and it's a problem."

On Sunday, Los Angeles County lifeguards responded to another beached boat at Dockweiler Beach. In an Instagram post they ask people to stay clear of the vessel and surrounding area until its removal is complete.

Another local resident and member of community advocate group the Friends of the Jungle said these beached and broken boats that wash ashore are a major safety concern.

"Not to mention, the lifeguards are working up and down the beach protecting swimmers from this debris," said Elliott Prather, a member of Friends of the Jungle. "We're talking sheets of plywood with nails cleats in it coming ashore. People out swimming, you know, it's dangerous."

Residents say they don't know who to speak to, to get this issue resolved. LA County Beaches and Harbors tell ABC7 they make every attempt to remove debris as soon as possible and clean beaches daily, but they're department does not regulate boating or enforce laws.

"It's really hard to get someone to take the lead and actually pinpoint whose responsibility to pay for all this stuff and to do the necessary cleanup," said Lucy Han, another member of Friends of the Jungle.

Residents said their hope is to prevent this from happening in the future by making sure people dock their boats legally and safely.