Fuel float’s escape from Coupeville Wharf foiled

A late November wind storm has left Port of Coupeville leaders scrambling to make repairs.

The storm that buffeted Central Whidbey Island the last weekend of November ripped the brackets loose from one of the two 40-foot-long fuel piers located at the Coupeville Wharf. Fortunately, port staff noticed the damage before the float could drift away.

Jim Patton, executive director for the Port of Coupeville, said employees were able to beach the float on the shore next to the pier and the port’s office on Front Street.

“I don’t have a cost on what it will take to repair it,” Patton said Friday afternoon. The brackets on the wayward fuel pier need to be replaced before being re-attached out at the Coupeville Wharf. He hopes to have a new bracket that is more suitable for the conditions of Penn Cove installed by the end of the week.

The damaged pier leaves only one float serving boaters who come to Coupeville for refueling. While December is a slow season for boaters visiting Whidbey, it is used by boats owned by Penn Cove Shellfish.

Patton said the company’s smaller vessels can use the remaining pier. As for the larger ones, he said it will have to be determined if there is enough room on the pier for them.

If not, the larger vessels would have to go to the nearest fuel facility in Oak Harbor to refill.


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