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Derelict boat pulled from Penn Cove

An excavator is used to pull a wrecked cabin cruiser from the shore of Penn Cove Saturday. The Washington State Department of  Natural Resources Derelict Vessels Program stepped in to remove the wreckage.  - Photo by of Richard Campbell
An excavator is used to pull a wrecked cabin cruiser from the shore of Penn Cove Saturday. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources Derelict Vessels Program stepped in to remove the wreckage.
— image credit: Photo by of Richard Campbell

After spending several weeks getting battered on the shore of Penn Cove, the wreckage of a small cabin cruiser was pulled from the beach over the weekend.

Workers, using an excavator, yanked the wreckage from the beach Saturday.

Richard Campbell, who lives in the house next to where the boat washed ashore, said it took workers most of the day Nov. 21 to pull the boat from its location near the Rolling Hills Glen Cairn community dock.

The boat, dubbed “Serious Issues,” is owned by Charles Marsing. He said someone untied his boat in early November and it drifted to the north side of Penn Cove. That’s where boat’s hull eventually got a hole in it and severe weather and sea conditions battered it until it wasn’t salvageable. Debris from the boat was strewn all over the stretch of Penn Cove, however, all of those items were picked up as part of the salvage effort.

Campbell said he was concerned the excavator would damage the native vegetation that was growing on the bank. However, Melissa Ferris, program manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resource’s Derelict Vessel Program, said the vegetation on the bank was hearty and the people hired were careful not to damage the plants.

She said a company named Sound Slope and Shoreline was hired to remove the wreckage from Penn Cove. She said she talked to Marsing last week and it was decided that DNR would step in and remove the boat.

“We wanted to make sure it got off the beach,” Ferris said.

Marsing had been trying to remove the boat since it became stranded in early November. Unfortunately the severe weather buffeting Whidbey Island in recent weeks coupled with a disability prevented him from finding a way to save his boat, which he owned for more than two years.

“I’m just thankful it didn’t run into another boat,” Marsing said, adding nothing toxic, such as fuel, spilled into Penn Cove. “I’m glad it didn’t cause somebody else a headache.”

With the boat removed, Marsing now has to wait for the bill from the DNR, which it looks like he will have to pay.

Ferris said that she hasn’t received all of the bills from the removal yet, but costs could be approximately $4,000.

As for whether Marsing will purchase another boat, he said he didn’t know. If he does, he said he will find a more secure place to keep it moored and keep insurance up to date. He said he had to let the insurance on his boat lapse after an accident a year ago left him disabled.

Ferris stressed the importance of making sure insurance is up to date and that a person’s boat is properly secured, especially with the continual storms that have been pounding the Puget Sound in recent weeks.

Community Events, April 2014

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