A fire Friday morning did thousands in damage to boats at Aqualand Marina in Flowery Branch.
One of the boats, a 60-foot by 12-foot black, white and red houseboat is now at the bottom of Lake Lanier, with only the top visible above the waves.
The shell of another houseboat is anchored across the cove.
Blackened planks of wood floated late Friday morning near where the boats caught fire at about 5:15 a.m.
The value of one of the house boats is about $50,000, and a tugboat valued at $10,000 also is a total loss.
Values of the other vessels involved in the fire at the marina’s Dock Q are still being determined.
The fire was raging when firefighters arrived, according to Capt. Zachary Brackett of the Hall County Fire Services. By 6:25 a.m. most of the fire was out and firefighters were extinguishing hotspots, he said.
Retrieving the sunken boat will require a team of divers to swim down, secure bags to the vessel and inflate them.
Rick Dieumegarde with Tugboat U.S. said it will take hours and more than likely won’t be finished Friday.
Dave Watts of Flowery Branch, who owns the boat catty-corner to the sunken one, came to make sure his was OK. His was one of 11 boats still moored to the dock.
His neighbor’s boat was slightly damaged in the fire with a singed splash rail, but his was unharmed.
Watts said the dock spaces between the boats likely will have to be replaced, as well as the foam blocks that float them.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire has not been determined.