Another one down.
Another vessel has sunk in the Hoquiam River, this one a 40-foot sailboat, just upriver from where salvage crews have been trying to get the Lady Grace up from the bottom at the east end of Karr Avenue.
This is the eighth vessel to sink on the small stretch of river just north of Hoquiam’s Riverside Bridge since July 2017.
“This vessel was apparently tied to pilings near the private boatyard at the end of Monroe Street where several other boats have sunk in the past few years,” said Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers. “It is believed the boat went down in the past few days during a period of very low tides.”
Hoquiam Police and the vessel’s owner contacted the Department of Ecology Spills Program Wednesday to report the sinking and Ecology responded.
“We were out there with the Hoquiam Police (Wednesday),” said Jeff Zenk, spokesman for Ecology’s southwest region. “We have indications that it may have actually sunk on Monday.”
The owner of the vessel told Ecology the sailboat had about 100-120 gallons of fuel capacity, but wasn’t sure how much fuel was in the vessel at the time.
“It’s likely if it sunk on Monday the fuel would have discharged” into the river, said Zenk, who said there wasn’t any noticeable sheen on the river Wednesday. Ecology was heading out again Thursday for another look, and the Hoquiam Police Department is keeping an eye on it as well.
The location of the vessel is on private tidelands, just upriver from the city-owned tidelands where the Lady Grace went down almost two years ago. That means the Department of Natural Resources Derelict Vessel Removal Program, which is funding the removal of the Lady Grace, doesn’t have jurisdiction to help with salvage/removal in any way, nor does the city.
“So we are currently working with the owner to see if we can help him come up with some way to salvage and retrieve the boat,” said Zenk.
Since the mast is sticking out toward the main river channel, Myers said the Coast Guard has been notified to determine if it’s a navigation hazard.
“The owner of the nearby (property where the boats were kept) recently appeared in Hoquiam Municipal Court on several criminal code violation charges related to the location,” said Myers. The owner, Mart Liikane, of 220 Monroe Street has been cited numerous times for code violations regarding the property, which has become something of a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles and vessels.