HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – UPDATE – Crews are still working to pull a partially sunken yacht out of the marina at Ditto Landing.
“The Notorious,” which apparently has quite a history, was first found partially submerged at Ditto Landing in south Huntsville, Friday.
Monday evening, crews were able to lift the majority of the yacht out of the water.
Workers plan to bring in a third crane Tuesday to help move the more than 200,000 pound boat to land.
Crews pumped water and fuel out of the yacht, but one Ditto Landing board member said they still have to get the boat out of the water to avoid environmental fines.
The owner of the boat is currently out of the country and Ditto Landing officials are unsure of his return.
A man called WHNT News 19 Friday morning with a news tip about it, saying he was “shocked” to see the boat under water. It’s been docked there for a while.
No one was aboard. Ditto Landing management is bringing in divers from Chattanooga to go under water and blow up airbags to help raise “The Notorious” so it can be pulled out of the water.
Nick Werner, Ditto Landing’s operating manager, said other boats have sunk at the marina in the past, but much smaller ones. The largest he’s seen before this is a 52-foot boat. This one is 78 feet long.
“The Notorious” has had other names before. It was christened the “Serano II” and later renamed “Exuberance.” It apparently has quite a history, according to one website, which indicates it was built in 1953 in Holland. The site also says the Feadship boat was at one time owned by President Gerald Ford and used by actor Charlton Heston. The Notorious was docked at Ditto Landing for repairs. Another website, Bone Yard Boats, has been tracking the Notorious over the past few years, posting photos of various stages of her repairs.
Management is working to contact the owner of the Notorious, who is out of the country.
Werner says the boat, refurbished and restored, could be worth anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million. In its current state, before sinking, it was worth about $50,000. The owner has been working on repairing the boat for about two years.
This photo shows crews lifting it out of the water on Saturday night:
Crews used a crane to lift the boat. They drained the water, then used a tow boat to push it to the edge of the marina. It took hours to work out how to hook the boat up properly, and as of 11:00 p.m. Saturday, the boat was still in the water.
Madison County Sheriff’s deputies stood watch over the marina until the boat was safely taken out of the water.
UPDATE: On January 21, 2015, the Notorious was destroyed by a mysterious fire. It was parked on land at Ditto Landing.
Read our update.