Sailboat sinks near Coupeville Wharf

A sailboat spent the better part of a week submerged in Penn Cove near the Coupeville Wharf.

The 28-foot Lancer took on water and sank on the evening of April 18.

Jim Patton, executive director of the Port of Coupeville, said the boat went down about 400 feet from the wharf.

It had been anchored there since late March and hadn’t moved from its spot since.

“It was sitting there for a couple of weeks without anybody on it,” Patton said, noting that the couple manning the boat originally wanted to dock at the wharf but they refused to pay moorage. Instead, they moved out and dropped anchor.

Patton said he noticed the boat was sinking that evening.

By the time firefighters arrived, only the tip of the mast was visible above water.

“All we could do is pick up some of the debris,” Biller said. Nobody was on board when the boat went down. Two people who had been on the boat used a dinghy to travel ashore. The dinghy remains next to the Windjammer Gallery located on Front Street.

A diver examined the boat to make sure there wasn’t anybody inside, Patton said.

The boat was registered to Seattle resident Tricia C. Blodgett, however she doesn’t have a telephone number and Patton said he hasn’t been able to contact her.

There weren’t any internal fuel tanks or an internal engine on board, so there was no concern about spilled fuel. The port contacted the Coast Guard and the state Department of Natural Resources about the incident.

Now the port has to take steps to remove the boat at an estimated cost of $1,000 to raise the boat. The person hired will attach 55-gallon drums to the boat, which will give it enough buoyancy to lift it off the surface. Then, during low tides, workers will pull it closer to the shore where pumps can raise the boat, Patton said. Work to raise the boat isn’t expected to start until the week of May 5.

The boat’s owner has 30 days to claim the boat. If that happens, she will be charged the cost of raising the boat. If she doesn’t claim the boat, the port will auction the boat to recoup its costs, Patton said.

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