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An abandoned boat in the Erie Canal, here's what we know

Posted at 11:25 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 09:47:36-05

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — An abandoned boat, named ‘Skipper Joyce,’ in the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda is drawing a lot of attention.

"I'm not really sure what the future is for this boat, if any," Jason Kennedy said.

Kennedy said he first noticed the boat in the canal in October.

"The boaters not being able to be out on their boat this time of year gave those people something to talk about,” Kennedy said. "It’s unfortunate because the boat really shouldn't be on the water this time of year, so that caused it to draw a lot of attention."

But the community won't let the boat sink. If it does go down, no matter how far, they have a plan.

"Buffalo people always want to help out and no one wants to see it sink,” Greg Stenis said.

Greg Stenis is part of a dive squad and he said they talk about ways to keep the boat afloat.

"Buoys on the side, lift bags, even barrels to keep it afloat,” Stenis said. "So far it hasn't needed it, which is good."

But Stenis said the weather is the one thing that is working against them the most.

“I mean with the dive squad we've pulled boats off the bottom that have sunk,” Stenis said. “But not in weather like this."

Stenis said the boat sinking could be bad for the environment.

"You don't want all the gasoline and oil and everything going into the canal,” Stenis said.

Kennedy said he created this Facebook page due to all the attention the boat has received.

Now, Kennedy has also started a GoFundMe so he can restore the boat. He said he is thinking of selling it once it is restored and give the proceeds to charity.

Kennedy said the plan is to have the boat out of the canal by the end of this week.