Several boaters homeless after Tropical Storm Eta beached boats in Gulfport

Pinellas County

GULFPORT, Fla. (WFLA) – On Wednesday night, when Eta strengthened from a tropical storm to a hurricane, Sam Brody knew he needed to get on dry land.

“I would stay on the boat if it was a tropical storm and the second it was upgraded to a hurricane that’s my cutoff. I’m not going to ride out a hurricane on a boat,” said Brody. “So I went to a hotel and everybody started getting beached so I drove back here at about 9 o’clock.”

The next morning, Brody learned his 24-foot sailboat had sunk. He lived on the boat with his 11-year-old daughter, and says he knew the risks.

“You come out here because you want to live on the edge of stuff. You want to be self-sufficient,” said Brody. “And this is, this is just part of that.”

Brody is one of a number of “live aboard” boaters who lost everything after Eta.

Megan Woods, part of a group called Gulfport Liveaboard, has set up a GoFundMe page to help those folks out in their time of need.

“At the moment our number one priority is just how to get a roof over these people’s heads, while we organize the rest of our effort to figure out what it is we can do,” said Woods. “What repairs they need from there, how we can help them restart.”

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