Sunken and abandoned boat at Kirkland’s Marina Park (Photo Credit: King County Sheriff’s Office)

Sunken and abandoned boat at Kirkland’s Marina Park (Photo Credit: King County Sheriff’s Office)

Abandoned boats in waterways are a ‘regional challenge,’ says King County Sheriff’s Office

Spokesperson says expensive and time-consuming boat recoveries happen about 20 times a year.

People are abandoning their poorly cared-for boats in the Puget Sound and nearby lakes — and getting them out is difficult and expensive, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

On Jan. 13, KCSO’s Marine Rescue Dive Unit responded to a 36-foot Chris-Craft boat built in 1962 that had sunk into the waters of Kirkland’s Marina Park following the windy conditions of the mid-January windstorm.

Sgt. Rich Barton said the sheriff’s department responds to incidents of abandoned and derelict vessels about 20 times a year. Many boat owners realize the cost of owning a boat — and leave their vessel unattended and uncared for.

He said demographically, individuals that abandon their vessels are often people who cannot afford boats, or perhaps purchased a cheap used boat without realizing the cost of maintenance, fuel and moorage.

Barton said taking these vessels out of the water can be very expensive and time consuming, as the 36-foot boat left at Marina Park took 10 days to recover at a cost of more than $20,000.

One of the largest boats KCSO has helped recover was a 150-foot trawler, according to Barton.

“The problem is ongoing and will never stop,” Barton said. “We just want people to take responsibility.”

Vessels abandoned by negligent owners and left to the elements can also be an environmental hazard because boats often contain fuel, oil and human waste.

According to Barton, the 36-foot boat that sunk in Marina Park leaked roughly 16 quarts of oil into the water, an unhealthy amount for the marine environment.

Barton said the Department of Ecology and the Department of Natural Resources get involved with the safe clean-up and containment of hazardous chemicals when abandoned boats sink into the waterways.

KCSO Media Relations Officer Sgt. Tim Meyer said abandoned vessels remain a “regional challenge” for law enforcement and regulatory agencies.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

State Capitol in Olympia.
State House approves bill to restore streamlined sales tax funds

Measure would mean about $4 million per year to city of Kent

Cindi Blansfield, Auburn School District’s Associate Superintendent for Business and Operations, describes measures the school district has taken to ensure the safety of students and teachers before schools began hybrid learning Wednesday, March 3. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter.
Safety measures in place for Auburn students in hybrid learning

In-person learning began March 3 for kindergarten through 5th grade

File photo
The Bridges housing development is in the city of Kent but surrounded by properties in the city of Auburn. The developer wants to build 150 townhouses on 13 acres near the homes. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter
Kent City Council votes 4-3 against land-use change for townhouses

Ordinance expected to be considered again at March 16 meeting

t
Free virtual parent workshops offered to Kent School District families

Goal to help families support their student’s social emotional wellness

Stock photo
State bill creating Office of Independent Investigations passes House

Kent’s Entenman sponsors measure to oversee police uses of force

There were lots of donations to sort from the Kent Police blanket and pillow drive for children. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent Police
Kent residents donate hundreds of blankets, pillows for children

Police held drive outside department headquarters

Freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish. File photo
Encouraging numbers for kokanee salmon spawn count

Lake Sammamish kokanee aren’t out of the woods by any stretch, but… Continue reading

Courtesy Photo, Kent School District
Moody’s upgrades Kent School District bond rating

District has a solid financial position

Most Read