By Stephen Tool, MCIN Staff
No one knew how long the 28-fooot Sea Ray boat lay by the shores of Walker Lake — too long for Sheriff Stewart Handte’s taste. Using his authority under the Nuisance Ordinance, on March 28, the sheriff made up his mind the boat had to go.
“I’m sick and tired of looking at trash on this lake,” he said.
After ascertaining David John Kohns, 54, of Las Vegas, abandoned the boat, Handte called Cal-Nevada towing, based in Truckee Calif. Cal-Nevada offered to move the boat to Hawthorne and bill Kohns for the expenses. Handte said the boat was valued at $70,000 new.
Local Cal-Nevada employees, the husband and wife team of Craig and Cathy Zane, showed up on the scene with their 50-ton tow truck and can-do attitudes to start the boat on its eventual journey to Reno.
Handte, along with Deputy Kyle Leslie and fireman Shaun Harman rendered assistance through the process. As the boat was on its side, it required some hard work to get straps underneath the hull to get the boat in an upright position to readjust the straps in order to pick the boat up and move it.
After several near mishaps with slipping straps the boat was finally hoisted up and started its journey to the parking lot above.
Handte and Harman fastened steadying lines to cleats along the boat’s gunwales; even then, the boat smacked into the tow truck several times as it navigated over the terrain.
Once at the parking lot, the boat was transferred to a rollback truck, a 21-foot flatbed. This entailed setting the boat on an assortment of car tires and strapping it to the truck bed. Police escorted the boat back to Hawthorne, where it sits in the Cal-Nevada parking lot at 5th and L streets.