The <em>Platypus</em>, an abandoned boat that has been sitting at the Coupeville Wharf, has finally been hauled away. People from all over the country reached out to the Port of Coupeville with interest in the boat, but none of their plans came to fruition. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times

The Platypus, an abandoned boat that has been sitting at the Coupeville Wharf, has finally been hauled away. People from all over the country reached out to the Port of Coupeville with interest in the boat, but none of their plans came to fruition. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times

Derelict boat hauled away from Coupeville dock

The Platypus gained nationwide interest, but it has been hauled away for salvage and destruction.

Coupeville’s abandoned boat, the Platypus, is finally gone.

Despite nationwide interest in the 45-foot wooden, KHE Army boat, it has been hauled away for salvage and destruction.

Port of Coupeville Executive Director Chris Michalopoulos said at least 14 people from all over the United States had called him about the boat after he said in a December Whidbey News-Times story that he was willing to give it away for free.

Most people were interested in living on the boat, which Michalopoulos said was unrealistic given its condition.

One party looked promising — the boat’s former owner who sold it to its most recent owner, David Elm.

Under Elm’s ownership, the Platypus was the site of alleged child abuse and fell into disrepair.

The boat was abandoned and found on the beach a few times before it was tied to the Coupeville Wharf’s dock. Then it went into port custody, meaning that the port did not have ownership but did have the responsibility for it.

Elm lived on the boat for about two years. He was arrested last July on charges of assault of a child in the third degree and intimidating a witness. His girlfriend was charged with tampering with a witness, and her son was taken into protective custody after he said he had been abused on the boat.

Ethan Currier, who sold the vessel to Elm, had owned the boat for eight years. Currier contacted Michalopoulos after seeing it in the news. He had plans to preserve it on land.

Currier lives on Bainbridge Island.

“It’s kind of a memento,” Currier said.

Unfortunately, the cost of the project was too high for Currier and he could not afford to pursue it.

On Thursday, Jan. 28 the port executive director finally said farewell to the old green boat. A salvage company from Stanwood arrived that morning and towed the boat to La Conner.

The boat’s final moments in Coupeville were not without incident, however. Michalopoulos said a railing and a heater were missing. They were likely taken the night before. Michalopoulos said he would review security camera footage to see what happened.

The Department of Natural Resources is likely to reimburse the port for the haul-out and other costs associated with the vessel, Michalopoulos said.

“I feel relieved that it’s going to be properly disposed of and is not going to be sitting on the bottom of Penn Cove,” Michalopoulos said.

“It’s good to get this chapter closed.”

A salvage company towed the boat to La Conner Thursday morning. It had been floating around Coupeville for the past few years. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times

A salvage company towed the boat to La Conner Thursday morning. It had been floating around Coupeville for the past few years. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times

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