Port of Coupeville's abandoned boat process stated

After questions arose about the Port of Coupeville’s recent acquisition and disposal of a derelict boat, commissioners approved regulations outlining the process employees will use.

Commissioner Laura Blankenship last month questioned whether Jim Patton, executive director, had the authority to acquire a vessel without approval of the board of commissioners.

The question arose when the Port acquired the Carpe Diem, a 27-foot Islander earlier in the year after its owner, Peter Driftmeyer, wasn’t able to continue safely living aboard the boat. The Port of Coupeville periodically ends up taking possession of boats that have been abandoned at the wharf after owners aren’t able to pay moorage fees or face other difficulties.

The ordinance approved Wednesday directs the executive director to take all action under Washington state law to secure, claim and dispose of such vessels and to apply for reimbursement of expenses through the Department of Natural Resources derelict vessel program. That state program reimburses a public entity up to 90 percent of the expenses associated with disposing of abandoned boats.

Commissioners Blankenship, Marshall Bronson and Benye Weber voted for the ordinance.


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