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Florida Man Jailed for Derelict Boat in Keys


A 69-year-old Florida man was briefly jailed over an abandoned boat in the Florida Keys the day after he told authorities that he would make payments to them if they could remove the boat for him.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers said the man failed to remove his boat from a Florida Keys channel after it got stuck on July 29.

Since July, FWC officers have posted a “derelict” notice on the boat, sent a certified letter to the owner and kept tabs on the vessel, according to The Key West Citizen.

Cody Middleswart, 69, of Marathon said he bought Galaxy on July 14 and tried to navigate it to the Boot Key Towers, FWC spokesman Bobby Dube said. The boat took on water and Middleswart said he got it to shallow water to avoid a sinking. The vessel keeled over after it became grounded in the channel.

FWC officers arrested Middleswart Wednesday on suspicion of the misdemeanor charge. Middleswart was released from jail about an hour later after posting $328 bond.

On Tuesday, he told the FWC that he could make payments to the FWC if it could remove Galaxy.

The FWC said the wooden hull is deteriorating and filled with water.

“The motors did not work when Mr. Middleswart purchased the vessel and still do not,” Dube told the Key West Citizen.