(a) Except as provided in Section 33-5A-5, a person who removes a vessel pursuant to this chapter shall do all of the following:

Terms Used In Alabama Code 33-5A-3

  • agency: The Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency. See Alabama Code 16-60-111.12
  • DERELICT VESSEL: A vessel in the waters of this state that satisfies any of the following:

    a. See Alabama Code 16-60-111.12

  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • person: includes a corporation as well as a natural person. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • vessel: Every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane, capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water. See Alabama Code 16-60-111.12

(1) Give written notice of the removal to the agency within five calendar days. The notice shall include a complete description of the vessel, the vessel identification number, and any other information required by the agency.

(2) Perform a lien search on the vessel with the Secretary of State of Alabama, the Secretary of State of the state of the owner’s residence, and the National Vessel Documentation Center.

(3) Give written notice of the removal of the vessel to the owner and lienholders of record of all of the following:

a. The location of the vessel.

b. The normal business hours of the facility, if any, holding the vessel.

c. Any accrued charges or fees and the daily storage rate.

d. The mailing address and contact telephone number of the person in possession of the vessel.

e. The following language in no smaller than 10 point type: “If this vessel is not redeemed by the recorded owner or lienholder of record within 45 calendar days from the date of this notice, the vessel may be sold.”

(4) If the identity of an owner or lienholder of record cannot be ascertained, place an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the vessel was located. The advertisement shall run in the newspaper once a week for two consecutive weeks and shall contain all of the information required in subdivision (3).

(b) The agency, within 10 calendar days of receiving the notice required in subsection (a), shall provide the person removing or storing the vessel with the identity and address of the owner of the vessel.

(c) A person storing a vessel pursuant to this section shall notify the agency if the vessel is claimed by the owner, determined to be stolen, or for any other reason suggesting that the vessel should no longer be considered an abandoned or derelict vessel.

(d) A person who does not provide the notice and information required by this chapter shall forfeit all claims and liens for the vessel’s storage prior to the time both the report and notice have been sent. However, failure to report or send notice does not result in a forfeiture of claims and liens for the removal of a vessel.

(Act 2018-179, §3.)