People on jet skis and boats on the Snohomish River drive past the abandoned Hannah Marie, formerly called the Midas, on July 3, 2018 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

People on jet skis and boats on the Snohomish River drive past the abandoned Hannah Marie, formerly called the Midas, on July 3, 2018 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Awaiting a barge and crane, Midas’ removal floats downstream

The state DNR is skeptical the owner, who abandoned the ship in August, can pay the $400,000 bill.

EVERETT — The state Department of Natural Resources’ Derelict Vessel Removal Program tries to get owners to pay for abandoning boats in public waters, but sometimes the agency is left high and dry.

Despite state law making owners responsible for the bill when their junk boat is removed, program manager Troy Wood said the DNR recovers less than half of 1% of the cost.

In the Snohomish River, the Midas, a 100-foot World War II-era fishing boat, has sat sunk since June 2018. The DNR seized the vessel Aug. 14.

It’ll cost contractors about $400,000 to dismantle it and crane pieces onto a barge.

“(The owner) is aware that he’s going to be given a bill,” Wood said. “I’m not very confident he’ll be able to pay it. Unfortunately, most of our derelict vessel owners don’t have a lot of assets.”

The removal is expected to start on Sept. 16 and will wrap up near the end of the month.

“That depends on what kind of problems they run into when cleaning out the vessel, as well as weather,” Wood said. “We don’t want to put any of our workers in jeopardy.”

Initially, contractors hoped to start at the beginning of the month, but getting work boats, a barge and a crane is taking longer than anticipated.

“Cranes on water are in high demand,” Wood said.

About a half mile north of the Midas, the DNR is working to seize a sunken sailboat.

If the 50-footer isn’t moved by Sept. 30, the state plans to take custody. Getting it out of the river could cost $60,000 to $100,000.

The sailboat’s owner, who isn’t returning the DNR’s calls, is a bit of a regular for the program. Previously, he was involved with two derelict boats — one in Poulsbo and another on Bainbridge Island.

When they don’t pay up, the DNR usually sends the bill to a collections agency.

If that doesn’t work, owners can get ticketed up to $500 or charged with a misdemeanor for abandoning ship.

Wood said a man was recently sentenced to a few days in jail for leaving his sunken 125-footer in Pacific County.

Such action is rare for the DNR, he said. But, he’s hoping to see more of it.

“We’re just trying to encourage owners to take responsibility for their vessels,” Wood said. “For some people it might take a ticket.”

To avoid that, the program lets owners set up a payment plan.

For the sailboat owner, Wood said the DNR’s efforts have met deaf ears. His two other bills have already gone to collection agencies and the DNR could file charges.

“If they’re willing to work with us, we’d take that into account before recommending them to law enforcement,” he said.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Homes along 55th Avenue SE in the Silver Firs neighborhood on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Assessor: Typical 2021 homeowner tax bill akin to last year’s

Snohomish County property owners will get tax statements in March. Some increased. Others decreased.

Amy Perusse, who has worked as the Everett School District's Kids in Transition coordinator for seven years, has been recognized by Education Week as one of 11 "Leaders to Learn From." (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Quite an honor’ for district’s champion of homeless students

Once a teen mom, Everett’s Kids in Transition coordinator wins national recognition by Education Week.

Lilliana (Lilli) Broce
Edmonds Rotary honors Meadowdale junior

Edmonds Rotary honors Meadowdale junior The Rotary Club of Edmonds has honored… Continue reading

A driver struck a woman in a motorized wheelchair Saturday in Lynnwood. (Lynnwood police)
Woman on wheelchair hit by car in Lynnwood, seriously hurt

The woman was on a sidewalk, passing by a drive-thru in Lynnwood, when a driver pulled out and hit her.

State Patrol worker from Everett charged with attempted child rape

Trevor Smith worked as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned inspecting school buses.

Missing Lynnwood girl found, man she was with arrested

The man, 32, is being investigated for harboring a minor and second-degree child molestation.

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2021, file photo, the Legislative Building is shown partially shrouded in fog at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's richest residents, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, would pay a wealth tax on certain financial assets worth more than $1 billion under a proposed bill whose sponsor says she is seeking a fair and equitable tax code. Under the bill, starting Jan. 1, 2022, for taxes due in 2023, a 1% tax would be levied not on income, but on "extraordinary" assets ranging from cash, publicly traded options, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Federal package could drive more than $10B to Washington

The state would get $7.6B for COVID response, schools and child care. Snohomish County is in line for $160M.

Samantha Lake
Missing girl, 12, found safely

Seattle FBI located Samantha Lake on Friday.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Clean fuels and police tactics advance, drug law fix arrives

Here’s what’s happening on Day 50 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Most Read