top of page

Salvage crews remove abandoned yacht from Snook Islands Natural Area

SALVAGE CREWS FINALLY removed the hulking remains of a 33-foot yacht that had been precariously abandoned since June on rocks in an environmentally-sensitive Lake Worth Beach waterway.

“We removed the boat this morning from Snook Islands,’’ said Greg Reynolds, executive director of Lagoon Keepers, a Palm Beach County non-profit organization of volunteer boaters who remove and recycle derelict boats in county waterways.

The removal on Sept. 13 came as a relief to residents who’d been worried the derelict yacht might leak fuel and oil into the Snook Islands Natural Area and Lake Worth Lagoon.

“We patched it (Sept. 12) and dragged it off at high tide this morning and patched it again,’’ Reynolds said.

"Sweet Emotion" was removed Sept. 13 after being abandoned since June in the Snook Islands Natural Area. (Joe Capozzi)

He said the yacht, called “Sweet Emotion,’’ is being towed to Stuart where it will be pulled from the water and dismantled.

In a happy coincidence, as “Sweet Emotion” was being pulled from the rocks just north of the Lake Worth Bridge, Palm Beach County commissioners were spending a few minutes at their meeting in downtown West Palm Beach honoring Lagoon Keepers with a proclamation.

As a special thanks to the nonprofit’s for removing more than 400 derelict vessels from county waterways since 2003, commissioners declared Sept. 16 as Lagoon Keepers Day. (The date was chosen in coordination with International Coastal Cleanup Day, which is Sept. 17.)

At least one other derelict vessel remains in Snook Islands, a smaller boat that is submerged just below the surface of the water about 50 yards from the rocks where “Sweet Emotion” had sat.

That boat is being processed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with no set date for its removal.

“Hoping to get these out of the water ASAP,’’ Jena McNeal, an environmental supervisor with the county’s Environmental Resources Management office, said in an email.

“Hope to start 2023 without any sinkers hanging around county waters.’’

The removal of “Sweet Emotion” came 12 days after a story in detailed concerns by residents about derelict vessels at Snook Islands.

Palm Beach County proclamation, read at the Sept. 13, 2022, County Commission meeting, honoring Lagoon Keepers. (Photo illustration by Joe Capozzi)

© All rights reserved. was honored in the 2022 Society for Professional Journalists’ annual Sunshine State Awards competition. If you enjoyed this story and others, please help support us by clicking the donation button in the masthead on our homepage.


About the author

Joe Capozzi is an award-winning reporter based in Lake Worth Beach. He spent more than 30 years writing for newspapers, mostly at The Palm Beach Post, where he wrote about the opioid scourge, invasive pythons, the birth of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County government. For 15 years, he covered the Miami Marlins baseball team. Joe left The Post in December 2020.View all posts by Joe Capozzi.


bottom of page