If you've been to Gulfport Beach lately you've probably noticed a large addition left behind by Tropical Storm Debby.
A 45-foot-boat called ‘Promise' has been stranded their since she went through the Bay area in June.
"This is what happens when you go steady with Debby," says the vessel's owner John Burki.
Burki - and his boat, which doubles as his home – is in an unenviable position. ‘Captain Jay,' as he is known to the locals, could soon be homeless.
He loves his lifestyle, especially ‘Promise.'
"I have all the comforts of home in there," Burki explained Saturday afternoon.
According to published reports the city of Gulfport has threatened to disassemble the boat to get it off the beach unless Burki does, soon.
The Navy veteran says he's tried but so far nothing has worked. Burki has even looked into renting a crane to move the boat that weighs more than 25,000 pound empty. Unfortunately that would cost approximately $10,000, money Burki does not have.
Fortunately a local man heard of his plight and is organizing help.
"There's been some half-hearted attempts but again this is the type of project that has to be done right," says Steve Smith, the man with a plant. "It has to be done all the way."
Smith is hoping to organize a full-hearted effort on Wednesday to save ‘Captain Jay's' boat.
He says his plan isn't easy but it should work.
"The only way that this can be successful is that if the boat is lightened," Smith added. "Emptied of everything that's moveable and the keel is dug out of the sand and the boats lay down over on its side on planks."
Once the large vessel is on its side it could be pulled out back into the bay, with a little help from a few other boats.
Reinforcements if you will.
Smith: "I need an army, a virtual army to show up, I need equipment I need an excess of equipment."
So he is asking any and everyone to meet him on the Gulfport Beach at 8 a.m. Wednesday, four hours before high tide.
The key to the whole thing according to Smith is to have a lot of boats, a lot of anchors and a lot of lines under a lot of tension.
He says it's the only way to save Burki's home and clear the beach.
"It's not going to serve anybody's purposes to cut this guy's boat up and put him on the streets," Smith added.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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