Who is Responsible for Abandoned Boat Along Sacramento River?

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YOLO COUNTY -- This is a story about everyone who doesn't want to own the St. Joseph, a locally famous ship, that recently set sail for infamy.

"I know the boat. I mean, it's been upriver for years. And I know people were living on it and trashing it and everything else," said a sailor known as "Pockets."

The St. Joseph is a steel ship that first launched 50 years ago. But more recently it has fallen on hard times -- abandoned, decrepit, taken over by transients and eventually cut free of its moorings, it went barreling down the Sacramento River.

"There was like 10 cops, deputies, sheriff's the whole nine yards down here," Pockets said.

The St. Joseph has many signs that homeless people were making their home there. From cans of food to hats hanging on the wall to movie posters, for decoration.

On the table, there's even someone's United States certificate of naturalization. But where the St. Joseph belongs is a much more difficult question.

"Yeah. I don't think anybody saw this coming. A lot of the vessels we've been dealing with are a lot smaller, and so this large commercial vessel is something that we had not anticipated. But it's a hot potato at the moment," said Yolo County Superviosor Oscar Villegas.

This is far from the first boat abandoned in Yolo County, and Villegas has been working on a policy for situations like this one -- there are lots of agencies who might be responsible in the end. But none of them want it, in part because it's unclear how much it would cost to scrap it.

"I don't have a clue. I don't think anybody does just yet," Villegas said.

Still, none of those agencies want that boat to slip away either, to become a public or environmental menace again.