BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — It’s been the talk of the town for weeks. Now the “little blue boat” off the Highway 278 bridge has become a local icon.
Its so beloved by many people that two paintings of the marooned vessel have already been bought for more than $850. That’s money that was then given to Bluffton Self Help.
“Rather than complain about it lets put it to good use. we have so many phenomal agencies in our community that residents use. why not show the appreciation for them by auctioning off little blue,” said Erin Christofoli, Bluffton artist.
“The boat is freedom,” said Stephen Gregar, Artist. “It represents freedom and I think it represents something different to everybody. but I think it has a great representation.”
If you missed out on the paintings, Hilton Head charity Pockets Full of Sunshine will be making special t-shirts featuring art of the little blue boat.
“”We have all read about it and seen about it on facebook so when they asked us we said yeah we do know something about this we are definitely all in,” says Laurin Rivers, Co-founder of Pockets Full of Sunshine. “We love to come together with something that is a talking point and a way for our community to come together which is what this seems to be.”
“Everything we do that we make each job we take goes right back into the program,” says Rivers. “In many ways its the gift that gives twice, you are giving to our program to help us continue and you are also giving to the rays, giving them experience and opportunity.”
Two local artists are also selling t-shirts and tea towels of original paintings of the little blue boat sitting atop the marsh.
If you travel across the 278 bridge from Hilton Head Island to Bluffton, South Carolina you can’t miss it. It’s the little blue boat sitting up on the marsh.
The vessel has been there for months or even years depending on who you talk to. It’s been there so long that people on at least one Facebook page have started posting memes of what may have happened to it, who may be on the boat or who should be on it.
WSAV asked the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) about it. They said in part that they have “no idea how long that boat has been there. It would be under the jurisdiction of Beaufort County.”
Then WSAV contacted the county, which wasn’t aware of the marooned mess until WSAV told them about it. They say now that it has been brought to their attention they can do something.
“That initiates the process for them to start what needs to be done to either remove the abandoned vessel or to locate the owner,” said Neil J. Desai, a Beaufort County Public Works Director. “And if they are successful they are given a certain amount of time it’s 60 or 90 days. The vessel is tagged and that technically starts the clock, so to say.”
South Carolina DNR said it’s the owner’s responsibility to move any abandoned boat and while they look for an owner, DNR will rely on the county to take that boat, move it to a marina and potentially to the landfill if no one claims it.
They recommend that no one tries to take it on the water.
“You may not know what condition it is in, it’s a safety issue is it leaking oil, is it leaking gas,” Desai said. “No point to get injured to pull a prank.”
Shortly after WSAV posted this story on the little blue boat, residents have been posting memes about the blue boat and to who it belongs. Someone created a public Facebook group to “save” the little blue boat.