BON SECOUR, Ala. (WKRG) — A 30-foot sailboat covered in river muck and barnacles, sits in the middle of Bon Secour River just feet from Penny Eilert’s pier. What once was an eyesore is now a public safety hazard with calls for help that have gone unanswered, until now.

“We are more hopeful today than it was when we did the story, to begin with,” says Eilert. She finally got a response from the Alabama Marine Police. “He said he has heard about this sailboat for a couple of years so he’s ready to get rid of it too.”

Easier said than done. “If they tried to dislodge it from where it is, it might tear the boat apart and that would cause even more damage to the environment,” Eilert says she was told.

Thursday, Marine Police officers came to take a look at the vessel for themselves, according to Eilert. “They think it is so grounded that it is not going to move but then they thought that when it was around the bend.”

That was four months ago when it was across from Kent Straub’s property. “It was actually not a bad-looking boat when they brought it here.”

Neighbors believe they know who owns the boat but all registrations and identifying information on the boat has been removed.

After our original story aired, WKRG News 5 learned ALEA had applied for a multi-state federal grant to remove abandoned and derelict vessels. They are still waiting to hear if that money will be available. “He told me this morning that there were 70 that they needed to get out but he promised me that this one was high on the list,” says Eilert.