|City/Town: • Cape San Blas|
|Location Class: • Commercial|
|Built: • N/A | Abandoned: • 2018|
|Status: • Demolished|
|Photojournalist: • David Bulit|
The Donna Kay is a shrimp boat that ran aground near the tip of Cape San Blas, on the western side. It’s unknown how it got there with some speculating that the boat pulled itself free from its anchor and drifted onto land while other rumors state that the captain of the boat fell asleep at the wheel. Another theory is that the boat was simply let go from its port in Louisiana before Hurricane Michael for an insurance claim. According to a couple of locals though, the Donna Kay appeared on the beach after Hurricane Michael. The shrimp boat was returning to Apalachicola having had repairs done in Alabama when the captain experienced some problems. The shrimp nets got caught up in the boat’s mechanics causing the boat to lose steering capabilities and running ashore.
Since 2018, the ship has degraded and like all things, wouldn’t be there for long. Locals and visitors alike made the one-mile trip out to see her although South Gulf Fire Rescue warned visitors not to climb on or around the ship. Glass, sharp metal, and steel cables as well as nets and steel cables that are submerged in the water were hazards that could seriously injure someone.
In March 2019, a crew attempted to move the ship to salvage and reuse it, but attempts were unsuccessful. Later in June 2020, the United States Coast Guard worked alongside a private company on pumping all the oil out of the ship. By 2021, there was nothing salvageable from the boat as anything of value had been removed or had seriously deteriorated. In May 2021, the Gulf County Board of County Commissioners requested proposals to have the Donna Kay removed and properly disposed of. With the use of backhoes, the removal of the ship began on August 24, 2021.