(WSVN) - They let a neighbor park his 42-foot boat on their dock. When he wouldn’t move it, they called Help Me Howard, and their story aired. Then something happened. What? Let’s bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to show us.

She lives on a nice canal in Fort Lauderdale with a 42-foot yacht docked in her backyard.

Life is nice for Anneli, right? Not even close.

Anneli Liebig: “It’s disrespectful, to me and my family.”

Here’s why.

Back in 2021, Anneli’s husband, Gordie, let a neighbor who sold his house temporarily park his boat here.

Anneli Liebig: “And it was going to be for a couple of months. He promised he would have it out of here for the hurricane season 2021.”

Then suddenly, Gordie passed away, and the owner of the boat, Mike McFarland, refused to keep his promise to a grieving widow to move the vessel that wouldn’t even crank.

Anneli Liebig: “My husband trusted him, being a friend of the family and neighbor, that he would move it.”

As the second year of sitting here approached, Anneli asked McFarland to at least clean up the deteriorating eyesore.

Anneli Liebig: “Its mildew on it, it’s green, It’s dilapidated.”

When nothing changed, Anneli asked us to get involved.

She then sent McFarland a letter giving him 60 days to remove the boat or suffer the legal consequences.

Then her story aired.

While McFarland, the owner of the boat, wouldn’t talk to us, we were contacted by dozens of people from Washington, Maine, across Florida, people who offered to come and tow the yacht away or repair the engines and drive it away. Anything to help Anneli get rid of it.

But, legally, she had to say, “No, thanks.”

Anneli Liebig: “You can have a boat behind your house, but, you know, it’s not your boat on legal papers. You don’t have the title for the boat, so you cannot just give a boat away.”

Then a few days after our story aired, when Anneli left for work, her security cameras showed McFarland arriving at her house with another man to work on the boat.

Anneli is convinced being on Help Me Howard is what got McFarland going.

Anneli Liebig: “He would not have done anything. It would have gone even further down, and it would have been a long, drawn-out process.”

Finally, after two years, the yacht cranked up.

Anneli’s cameras showed McFarland slowly turning the boat around.

A neighbor glad to see it moving also videotaped it heading down the canal.

Anneli came home that day with a smile.

Anneli Liebig: “No, I don’t have a broken boat in my backyard anymore.”

Anneli had forgotten what it was like to look out her backyard, and instead of seeing this eyesore, seeing this nice view.

Anneli Liebig: “Beautiful. Now I have the view of the river and view of the sun coming up over the palm trees. This is why we live in South Florida, right?”

McFarland wouldn’t talk to us about what he was doing with the boat, but Anneli doesn’t care anymore. She’s just happy the headache is gone — after her call to Help Me Howard.

Anneli Liebig: “Absolutely. If it wasn’t for Help Me Howard, I would never have got this boat out of here. He would have had it here until it had sank by the by the dock, I’m pretty convinced.”

We always tell people, most of the time, we try to solve your problem before your story airs, but sometimes it takes airing the story to get it taken care of.

Glad Anneli has that headache out of her life.

Up the river without a paddle? Don’t let the tide go out on you. Wave us in, and see if we can skipper our way to a solution.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
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