EVERETT — While the state closes in on ridding the Snohomish River of one eyesore, another has surfaced.
As state preparations continued this week for removing the Midas, a long abandoned WW II-era commercial fishing boat, other agencies now are dealing with a newly sunken 50-foot sailboat north of the Langus Park boat launch.
A sheen in the water caused the state Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection Agency to send contractors out Tuesday to contain the oil spill.
A boom set up around the boat enclosed the spill, Ecology Department spokesman Larry Altose said in an email Tuesday. Additionally, contractors from Global Diving and Salvage removed fuel, lube oil and other hazardous materials on board.
“The oil sheen is dissipating,” Altose said. “It was too thin of an (oil) layer on the water to be recoverable, unfortunately.”
How much oil spilled into the water won’t be known for a few days, he said.
The state Department of Natural Resources’ Derelict Vessel Removal Program is monitoring the situation, program manager Troy Wood said.
“Our program encourages owner responsibility first,” he said. “We have to give (owners) the opportunity (to remove) it.”
It was unclear Tuesday if any of the agencies were able to reach the owner. The boat had not been at the spot where it is sinking for long, officials said.
He said the DNR is “very concerned” about the damage the sailboat has already and could continue to cause to the water and marine life.
Half a mile north, the Midas, a vessel twice the size of the sailboat, is spending what are likely its final days in the river. The DNR seized the Midas on Aug. 14 and hopes to have it off to a scrapyard by the end of the month.
Bids for the Midas’ removal will be sorted Wednesday, Wood said. It’s too late for the sailboat to be added to the project, though.
After more than a year in the area, the Midas will be the eighth boat the DNR has taken from the river since 2015. The sailboat could be number nine.
Wood said the Snohomish River is a problem area for derelict boats. Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay and the Sinclair Inlet in Port Orchard are similar havens for broken-down vessels.
Derelict boats can be reported online at the DNR’s website.