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Hoboken Promises Cleanup For Troublesome Weehawken Cove 'Boat Graveyard'

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A graveyard for abandoned boats has been causing problems for residents in Hoboken since 2015.

Three years later, the forgotten vessels are still there, and now children are climbing all over them.

Some of the ships have been there since Superstorm Sandy, but figuring out who exactly has jurisdiction over the waterway has proven to be a murky endeavor.

People come to anchor their boats for free, only to have them capsize when a big storm rolls through. It happened to one boat two weeks ago, and residents want to know why all the old ships have been able to just accumulate over time.

The abandoned sailboats in Weehawken Cove are ugly, dangerous, and have caused a headache for residents for years. CBS2 reported on the issue three years ago, first asking the city of Hoboken why the boats are still there.

Back then, the city passed the buck to New Jersey State Police who said "the vessels are under investigation," but couldn't provide a timeline as to when they'd be pulled out.

"Hopefully eventually they'll do something about it," Hoboken resident Paul Sabatini said in 2015. "I don't imagine they'll stay here forever."

Fast forward three years and nothing's changed, other than the fact that Hoboken has assumed control of the issue.

"The city passed an ordinance saying they would take jurisdiction over it," city Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher said.

In a statement sent to CBS2, a spokesperson for Hoboken Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla said "All boats will be removed as soon as possible, including any vessel that sunk and is out of sight in the cove."

Bhalla's office said removal should start in a few days, and that the city has identified the owners of the boats. They'll be charged for the cost of the removal.

CBS2 also asked state police what took so long in the first place, but hasn't heard back

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