Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Friday, January 25, 2013 at 10:56 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (1)
  • Print

1 derelict ship sinks, 2nd listing in Tacoma

One abandoned ship sank early Friday and threatened to pull another down in a waterway off Puget Sound in the latest problem involving derelict vessels in Washington.

Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
how the F@#* is this possible that the ownership is unclear and that public money is... MORE

advertising

TACOMA, Wash. —

One abandoned ship sank early Friday and threatened to pull another down in a waterway off Puget Sound in the latest problem involving derelict vessels in Washington.

The Coast Guard, state Ecology Department and Tacoma Fire Department responded to the Mason Marina on the Hylebos Waterway where the two ships had been moored, waiting to be dismantled.

The 167-foot Helena Star went down, leaving its stern sticking out of the water. It was tied to the 130-foot Golden West, causing it to list.

The ships have been there for a couple of years and have "been on the radar" for the Ecology Department since last year when one started to list, spokesman Dieter Bohrmann said.

About 20,000 gallons of fuel were pumped off the vessels last March, he said. So, the pollution threat is limited, although some residual fuel could be aboard.

Arriving firefighters smelled diesel and saw a light sheen on the water. They deployed an oil spill containment boom, Battalion Chief Allen Estes said.

The sinking was reported about midnight Thursday by a man working in a shop at the marina who heard a crash, Estes said.

The ownership of the boats is unclear. The man working at the marina said he had been told they were recently sold, Estes said.

A salvage crew would have to raise the sunken ship. "It's probably going to be very expensive," Estes said.

The Coast Guard set aside $40,000 Friday for work on the ships, said Petty Officer Nathan Bradshaw. They're not a hazard to navigation, but now officials have to decide what to do with them.

The Tacoma ships are not on state aquatic lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources. "However, we were well aware of them as they were on our list of vessels to be removed if we had the funding," said aquatics spokeswoman Toni Weyman Droscher.

Earlier this month the DNR seized a 180-foot derelict ship at Port Ludlow and towed it across Puget Sound to Seattle to be dismantled before it became a safety or environmental problem. The owner was unable to carry out a plan to scrap it in Mexico.

Last May, a 140-foot derelict ship caught fire and sank in Whidbey Island's Penn Cove. Pollution shut down Penn Cove shellfish beds and the spill response and salvage cost state agencies nearly $2 million.

A 431-foot barge that buckled in the Columbia River near Camas in January 201l, leaked oil and cost about $20 million in a federally funded cleanup overseen by the Coast Guard.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising