Where's Capt. Jay's Boat?

Mayday! Mayday! Be on the lookout for Capt. Jay's boat.

The panoramic view of Boca Ciega Bay from Gulfport Beach is missing something, Capt. Jay's boat, "Promise."

Harbormaster Denis Frain says the boat was moved sometime after Capt. Jay's court hearing last Thursday and the time he physically checked the bay on Friday evening.

John Burki, 66, known as Capt. Jay was given the chance to move his boat out of Gulfport waters in lieu of paying fines incurred for having the grounded boat on Gulfport Beach after Tropical Storm Debby.

As part of the Judge Patrick Cadell's deal, Burki pleaded guilty to 18 ordinance violations and agreed to move the boat by Aug. 22.

Last Thursday, Capt. Jay and City Officials appeared before Judge Caddell and reported that the boat was still anchored in the bay.

Caddell ordered Capt. Jay to pay the fines and signed an order for a lien against the vessel following the hearing. City Manager Jim O'Reilly received the court ordered lien on Tuesday and will register the document with the Pinellas County Clerk of the Court, Florida Department of Motor Vehicles and vessel registration.

"We are recording the lien with all the appropriate agencies. Any agency can take action," he says, because the vessel is also recorded as an "at risk" vessel by the Gulfport Police Department.

The boat has been flagged as "at risk" for becoming a derelict boat, by the Gulfport Police Department. Burki has 90 days from his police-issued notice to bring his boat into compliance with the law.

Patch has attached the letter sent to Burki from police on Aug. 3.

"Promise" was anchored in the bay just beyond the buoys at the beach for about six weeks after a public call for help lured 50 volunteers who pushed, pulled and lifted the boat out into the bay. Capt. Jay could not be there to help with the efforts; he was recovering at Bay Pines VA Hospital

Editor's Note: Gulfport Patch has tried to contact Capt. Jay in regards to this article and has not heard back.

Elizabeth September 13, 2012 at 08:14 PM
according to my father, Lou Worthington, the boat was sold for approximately $2700 and is allegedly anchored somewhere in South Pasadena behind someones house.
Cherlene Willis September 13, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Thanks for the information Elizabeth. - Cherlene
Rob Fowler September 14, 2012 at 04:23 AM
I hope Captain Jay put a lil' moolah in his pocket after the fines and fees. Sad story he he was unable to maintain, whether financial or just lack of basic "how to get by in today's world." Sailors, miners, auto workers, lawyers, dish washers, and even web designers have to have a 24/7/365 focus on surivial with bills, family and pet obligations, medical concerns, society pressures, and so on. It's not easy and so many can't keep it up. I never blame those who give up or lose focus. I feel sad and know one day it could happen to me.
Gertrude Phoebee September 16, 2012 at 08:39 AM
Heres a Vet! A man willing to die for his Country, and probably had no place to live accept the street or his yacht. Im also a Vet & feel for Capt Jay. So many Vets drink to escape what they witnessed in war. Getting help is a joke! Might take a year just for an appt with the VA. Not to mention the lack of understanding from those who have never served or our politicians who use us as pawns to receive votes. Heres a man whose ill, probably lives on his yacht as he has no where else to live. Struggles to put food on his table & buy needed medications & our government is more concerned about getting fines paid? If he had money or political pull Im sure the outcome would be much different. Shame on you politicians,judges etc! What ever happened to helping your fellow man in his time of need? All you managed to do is to put another Vet who fought for your freedoms on the street! Tonight when you sit down to a nice meal,out of the weather in your luxury homes think about this poor Vet who now has nothing! Hope you have a conscience, then again you most likely dont care.


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