BRADENTON BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – While many in the Tampa Bay area breathed a sigh of relief Monday, Tropical Storm Colin took everything from a Manatee County man.
Mauricio Gonzalez spent $45,000 on a houseboat that was destroyed when the storm rolled in. Gonzalez and his elderly mother had to be rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard from the sinking vessel.
“This is what I own, a wet suit and clogs. It’s a tragedy but I’m alive,” Gonzalez said while standing on a pier looking at the debris that used to be his home.
He explained the boat started to sink as the storm rolled in.
“The whole boat went sideways. The Coast Guard came. We had to get my mom off the boat. It was going nuts,” Gonzalez said. “I’m lost in words. I lost my whole house. I just bought this, $45,000 and I own nothing now.”
Nearly a dozen boats broke free from their moorings during the tropical storm. Some sunk, others drifted into the nearby Bradenton Beach Pier.
Dean Bard’s was one of them. He came to check on the boat and said the bilge pump is working. Bard said his boat should be fine.
He’s simply frustrated with the situation.
“Another boat broke free and hit my boat. I made the mistake of anchoring around other boats that weren’t secure,” Bard said. “I should have been out somewhere else.”