TowBoat US began its two-week removal of the Symphonia, which has been anchored in the Intracoastal Waterway since 2006, on Tuesday.
TowBoat US was the Santa Rosa County commission's second pick to salvage the 88-year-old boat. Walter Marine of Orange Beach, Ala., was the low bidder to remove the yacht from Santa Rosa Sound and an abandoned sailboat from Pensacola Bay just off Shoreline Park South in Gulf Breeze. The Alabama company bid $15,000 to salvage Symphonia and $3,800 to salvage the sailboat. But according to County Engineer Roger Blaylock, before Walter Marine received the county's proposed contracts, it committed its efforts to BP and the effort to contain the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The commission voted to offer the Symphonia job to TowBoat US for $19,700 and the sailboat removal to Turnkey Marine Service of Mary Esther for $4,500.
The commission approved removing the boat earlier in March.
For more on this story, see the July 22 issue of the Navarre Press or subscribe online.