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How this houseboat, supposedly bought for a six-pack, became an expensive headache for Lake Lanier
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A houseboat is hauled across the waters of Lake Lanier Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, near Aqualand Marina. The vessel, nicknamed "Six Pack Sally" was discovered this spring near lake marker 4 OC in Hall County partially sunk. The legend of "Sally" is that she was allegedly bought for a six pack of beer. - photo by Scott Rogers

A sinking houseboat known as Six Pack Sally was removed from Lake Lanier on Tuesday, Oct. 8. 

The extraction was a team effort by the Lake Lanier Association, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Hall County. 

Six Pack Sally was allegedly bought for a six-pack of beer. According to the Lake Lanier Association, the houseboat’s new owner secured it to the shore, but it “tragically” began to sink. 

Stephanie Woodard, Hall County solicitor general, said the removal on Tuesday was surprisingly efficient. 

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Steve Briscoe, of Lakeside Marine Transport, keeps watch on the hull of an old houseboat being removed from the water at Aqualand Marina Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. The vessel, nick named "Six Pack Sally", was discovered this spring partially sunk near lake marker 4 OC in Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers

“You never know how much water, animals and other things have taken root,” Woodard said. “It went really fast and we’re very excited because it’s a big hunk of metal and chemicals like alkaline substances from batteries and oil and gas can get into the water.”

She said houseboats like Six Pack Sally can become a danger to not only boaters who could accidentally crash into the submerged vessel, but children who play around the lake and the environment. 

Jennifer Flowers, Lake Lanier Association’s executive director, stated in a press release that she found the incident a “sad situation where someone thought they were getting the opportunity of a lifetime and ended up with a $10,000 mess.”

“Steel-hull houseboats have been some of the hardest sinking vessels to tackle over the past five years,” Flowers said in a press release. “Buyers need to be aware and always have a hull inspection completed prior to purchase, whether the boat costs six figures or a six pack.”

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A houseboat is hauled across the waters of Lake Lanier Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, near Aqualand Marina. The vessel, nick named "Six Pack Sally" was discovered this spring near lake marker 4 OC in Hall County partially sunk. The legend of "Sally" is that she was allegedly bought for a six pack of beer. - photo by Scott Rogers

Although county prosecutors try to resolve incidents like Six Pack Sally without having to bring criminal charges, Woodard said an abandoned vessel is a charge just like an abandoned car.

“You wouldn’t be able to have a wreck on 985 and walk off and leave your car there,” she said. “You inherently know to call a tow truck … Folks don’t know what to do because it’s out of sight, out of mind.”

Woodard encourages those who own a sinking vessel to call the Department of Natural Resources or Lake Lanier Association and ask for help. 

The removal was funded by money reserved by the state specifically for abandoned and derelict vessel removal on Lake Lanier. Hall County is matching a portion of the state funds for “Hall County specific issues.”

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A crew from Cato Marine and TowboatU.S. ride atop a work boat as they move slowly across Lake Lanier Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, hauling a houseboat that had been partially sunk. - photo by Scott Rogers
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