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Authorities removing sunken boats
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Photo contributed This past weekend the California Department of Boating and Waterways, in conjunction with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office boating unit, used a crane to lift this vessel – which sunk three years ago – out of the Delta as part of an effort to clean up the waterway.

Now that the warmer weather is here and more people are taking to the outdoors, local officials have put a renewed focus on making sure one of the area’s crown recreational jewels – the San Joaquin River Delta – is clear and operational. 

Over the weekend the California Department of Boating and Waterways, in conjunction with the San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Office boating unit, removed a sunken vessel from the San Joaquin River that has been underwater for the past three years – posing a navigation hazard. Using a heavy crane to remove the boat from the bottom near Riviera Cliffs, the incident was photographed and shared widely on Facebook – including a comment from Sheriff Pat Withrow that “change is coming to the Delta.”

And Withrow wasn’t the only elected official that made sure that boaters in the area have a clear path when they take to the water. 

Last week San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti – who represents portions of Manteca and Lathrop – was contacted by a constituent that was concerned about a sunken boat that had been abandoned in the river. 

As the owner of Delta Crane – a longtime family business – Patti responded by bringing a crane out to the site himself and was at the controls to pull the boat out of the water and load it into a City of Stockton Public Works Department dump truck to be hauled off and disposed of. 

Patti shared photos of the operation to his personal Facebook page, which drew hundreds of likes and dozens of comments of support. 

The San Joaquin River – which runs through South Manteca and Lathrop into Stockton before flowing out into the myriad of channels that make up the Delta region – is a popular recreational destination during the summer months with hundreds of boats using the at-times narrow channels. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.