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Winds whip marina life
Boats, docks damaged at Port Royale
High winds Monday pushed one boat within inches of the glass doors of another craft Monday at Port Royale Marina. - photo by Jennifer Sami

* Bookend storms disrupt power service.

* Also: For more photos of damage at the marina, see Wednesday's edition of the Forsyth County News. 

Strong wind gusts Monday morning caused two docks to collide and sunk a boat at a northeastern Forsyth County marina.

No one was injured in the incident, which happened about 10 a.m. at Port Royale (click for map), formerly known as Lan Mar, on Lake Lanier.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the displaced floating dock, known as dock 10, moved at a 90-degree angle across the water.

“The only thing that stopped it was crashing into dock 8,” Shivers said.

The collision embedded two boats together, while a third craft pushed over the walkway.

The damage at Port Royale may have been the most significant in what Shivers described as a “very busy morning,” one that kept public safety personnel busy responding to reports of wind damage and fallen trees.

Brett Pearson, operations manager for TEI Industries, which owns Port Royale, said a 10,000-pound boat was picked up and overturned.

“I was standing 30 feet from it when it happened,” he said. “We were trying to get some boats off of a dock -- it was clear the dock was fixing to go -- and the wind pushing on the boats was tearing the dock out.

"We couldn’t get this one out fast enough and it lifted it up and rolled it over the top of one finger and into the slip next to it, which fortunately was empty.”

Pearson said the brand-new boat was for sale.

Freehome resident Larry Dorr keeps his craft, a 30-foot Sea Ray named N-Dorr-Fin, in one of the slips at dock 8. The vessel’s swim platform received what appeared to be minimal damage.

Dorr said Monday he’s had the boat for three weeks.

“I just got it, so it’s a little disheartening, but what are you going to do?” he said. “I guess we’ll put boating on hold for a couple of weeks.”

Dorr was one of many boat owners who came out Monday to assess the damage.

Tracy and Patty Baggett checked on their 43-foot Cruisers Yacht, named Great Escape, which apparently collided with a houseboat.

Tracy Baggett said fiberglass on the back of his boat was busted and there was some minor damage at the front where it pushed into the other boat.

“I’m trying to help my neighbors out too,” he Baggett said. “With boaters that’s the way it is. We look out for each other.”

Baggett said Great Escape is the couple's second home, one where they spend nearly every weekend.

“Now it’s just a matter of time getting it fixed, which is a pain,” he said.

Pearson said most of dock 10 was back in its original position Tuesday morning.

“Pretty much, from what I can tell, just about every dock at every marina on Lake Lanier and Lake Altoona both moved to some extent,” he said. “Dock 10 moved about 40 or 50 feet ... it was still secured to all its anchors it just drug them.”

He explained that the dock’s anchors were moved back to where they were supposed to be and the dock was pulled into place.