ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Almost a week after Tropical Storm Nicole, people are still feeling its impact. For one St. Augustine man, his boat home is in shambles after the storm smashed it into the Bridge of Lions.
“My heart is trembling over this because it was like this, this was my ticket,” Timothy O’Toole said. “I never wanted much more outside of this.”
Timothy O’Toole looked down on what was his only home. He lived and worked off his sailboat “Beats Working” for over a year but Tropical Storm Nicole swept it away into the Bridge of Lions, leaving it in shambles.
“It’s absolutely shattered, the roof is separated from the gunnels, the mast is cracked in half,” O’Toole said on just some of the damage.
While it didn’t sink, it’s not livable and he’s been trying to stay afloat ever since.
“I’ve been staying with family and friends. I’ve been reaching out to coworkers to see who they might have an open room for my dog and I,” he said.
O’Toole and his dog Randy went through Ian together and the boat stayed safe in the San Sebastian, but he wasn’t able to get it there this time.
“My outboard for my dingy had taken a dive, my circumstance was I went to land to get a different set of tools I had, then nor’easter happened, then before that was even done Nicole was here,” he said. “I had doubled down on my anchorage tackle, let out lines, you know 7-1 which is pretty excessive but how do you calculate a storm surge like that?”
O’Toole said he would do anything to go back and do it all differently.
“It was shattering, I mean it was literally my home. I poured a lot into it. I sacrificed time with my family and my friends to make sure that was livable, safe and secure,” he said.
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O’Toole said he is now working to get in contact with a boat salvage company to get it away from the bridge. His friend also set up a GoFundMe page to help him get back on his feet.