The secretary of education is known for rocking the boat when it comes to education policy. And now it seems a vandal rocked hers right into a dock in northern Ohio. The Toledo Blade reported that Betsy DeVos’ $40 million yacht was set adrift Sunday morning and incurred up to $10,000 in damages.
The U.S. Education Secretary’s vessel, named The Seaquest, was moored at the Huron Boat Basin over the weekend, when a vandalistic prankster apparently untied it on Sunday morning, police told The Blade.
The 163-foot yacht then drifted into a dock, and was tarnished by large scratches and scrapes, The New York Times reported. Police are going to review video surveillance of the dock, to see if they can find out who basically commandeered DeVos’ boat.
And while a lot of details have yet to emerge about the incident, the DeVos’ have some backup boats they can use if need be. As it turns out, the wealthy DeVos family has a boatload of boats. Ten of them, in fact, are held through “entities owned by the DeVos clan” as of a 2017 report from The Wall Street Journal. The family has used the boats to travel the South Pacific islands as a group, the newspaper reported.
And, in case you were wondering, the uberwealthy family takes on the world by air, land, and sea. They also owned at least two helicopters and four planes at the time of The Wall Street Journal’s deep-dive on their holdings.
This isn’t all billed to DeVos’ fairly recent role as education secretary. She was born rich and she married well, Politico Magazine reported. Her dad, Edgar Prince, owned Prince Corporation, which gained notoriety for it’s patent on the illuminated mirror that comes on pull-down sun visor in cars. On top of all that, her father-in-law started the marketing corporation Amway.
So, the estimated $5,000-$10,000 in damage to The Seaquest won’t exactly empty DeVos’ wallet.
Police haven’t released information about a motive behind the crime, but DeVos has plenty of critics. She has been a proponent of “school choice” and vouchers, which many say would hurt public schools by leeching money out of them. She was also sued in January for rescinding Title IX guidelines regarding college campus sexual assaults.
Some folks on Twitter joked about the boat, referencing DeVos’ stance on “school choice” that would allow students to leave public schools for other educational options, such as charter schools.
"DeVos’ yacht was merely given the choice to shop around for a better pier," wrote Twitter user Matt Ortega.
Late-night writer Bess Kalb wrote a pointed tweet about the incident and DeVos, who is a Michigan native.
“Finally Republicans give a shit about water in Michigan,” Kalb wrote, although the boat was technically adrift in Ohio. This was in reference to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Other Twitter users opined that the afloat boat had to be the work of grizzly bears. This was because during her Senate confirmation hearing, DeVos told lawmakers that she thought guns might be useful to have in schools in places like Wyoming because of threats from grizzlies.
As more details emerge about the yacht pillaging, you have to wonder if the DeVos family is upping the security to protect their other nine boats from vigilantes.