Georgia does not have a formal abandoned and derelict vessel program. It does have a formal process in place for the determination of ownership, removal and disposal of abandoned vessels found on both public and private property. In addition to the laws on record for abandoned vessels, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has developed the Abandoned and Sunken Vessels Project - a program that focuses on identifying, mapping and prioritizing abandoned and derelict vessels in an effort to alert boaters to the potential hazards these vessel pose within the state.
In 2006, the Georgia Legislature appropriated two years of funding for their abandoned vessel removal program. However, in 2008, due to a decrease in state revenues, the appropriation for the program did not occur and has not yet been reinstated. Removal efforts can also be funded from proceeds obtained through liens, foreclosures, and sales of abandoned vessels.
In the state of Georgia, abandoned vessels are managed under Ga. Code Ann. § 52-7-70 through § 52-7-77. These statutes define when a vessel can be assumed to be abandoned and administers the taking, notification process and disposal of abandoned vessels. State statutes also address vessel liens, which can be placed on vessels by the party in charge of removal in order to cover the expenses incurred during removal, storage, notification and disposal. However, under Georgia law, derelict vessels are not addressed specifically and the procedures for determination and removal of any derelict vessels follow those for abandoned vessels.
Point of Contact
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources manages the abandoned vessel program and Sunken Vessel Project in Georgia. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is involved with determining ownership if the vessel has been stolen.