Thursday, April 20, 2006
That's Just Wrong: Boatload of Trouble
If you go out on the ocean, one local captain has a warning. He has a sinking feeling some hidden hazards could land somebody in a boatload of trouble. But since nobody's taking responsibility to make repairs, he says That's Just Wrong.
WSVN--Miami Beach... One of the most popular tourist spots in the world.
Where people come to party.
Joaquin Ramierz: "That's Robin Gibbs from the Bee Gees."
And tour waterfront mansions.
Joaquin Ramierz: "This little yellow house here is the Perry Ellis family."
Which is where Captain Joe comes in.
Joaquin Ramierz: "We work with all the different tourists that come here to Miami Beach. We also work with Movie Producers and the different Paparazzi's."
Captain Joe takes tourists on cruises around the beach and the islands of Biscayne Bay pointing out the homes of the rich and famous.
Joaquin Ramierz: "We have two daily tours. We take people to star island. Hibiscus, Palm Island."
But since Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina, some hidden hazzards have rocked his boat.
Joaquin Ramierz: "If you were to strike it on a boat like this you easlily could do ten thousand dollars worth of damage."
What you could strike are these sunken pilings.
They're all that's left of a dock damaged by the storms.
And they could literally sink your ship.
Joaquin Ramierz: "We actually struck a piling, about a year ago, one of my boats struck a pilling next to moneyman Island and it actually sunk."
Plus at high tide, the pilings are completely underwater.
Joaquin Ramierz: "At very high tide you can't see it at all. It's a complete hidden danger."
And he can't believe the millionaires who own these homes don't have to fix the problem.
Joaquin Ramierz: "These pilings are sitting behind some of these homes that are worth ten fifteen twenty million dollars. So what is the excuse."
So until Captain Joe doesn't have to worry about what's in the water, he says That's Just Wrong.
Craig Stevens: "Now, Joe obviously can't contact each homeowner. But as we all know, when it comes to beurocracy, the waters can get pretty muddy. So when Joe contacted 7 News, we threw him a life preserver to help him swim through the government maze."
Barbara Hawayek: "It's a very simple system."
For Joe, the first step is filling out a complaint with the City of Miami Beach online.
Barbara Hawayek: "It step by step walks you through your concern. So you select a category, anything from a barking dog to a broken waterline. You can enter your request on line. And it automatically tracks and sends out the request to the department that handles that request based on a category."
Best of all, the city will even forward requests to other government agencies if it's something out of its jurisdiction.
Barbara Hawayek: "We will work together with him in getting him together with those agencies."
Now for Captain Joe, it's anchors away.
He's happy something's getting done and it will soon be smooth sailing for everyone.
PLEASE SEND STORY IDEAS TO: