Crew members stand by as a crane moves metal away from the derelict boat Midas in the Snohomish River on Thursday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Crew members stand by as a crane moves metal away from the derelict boat Midas in the Snohomish River on Thursday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Torn to bits and hauled away, the Midas soon will be gone

The once-proud commercial fishing boat became a Snohomish River eyesore that is costing $400,000 to remove.

EVERETT — A large crane lifted scraps of wood and metal from the Snohomish River on Thursday, as cars passed overhead on the U.S. 2 trestle.

Workers hauled the debris out of the water and into a big orange container. Buildings near downtown Everett could be seen in the distance, against a cloudy, gray sky.

This week crews are removing the Midas, a derelict boat that’s been in the waterway for nearly four years. If all goes as planned, it should be gone by early next week.

The state seized the 100-foot boat last month, and placed it in care of the Department of Natural Resources Derelict Vessel Removal Program.

During its time in the water, the Midas has leaked contaminants such as oil, fuel, lead and asbestos, program manager Troy Wood said.

Money is the main reason it’s taken so long to take care of the boat.

“This year we got a $2.5 million one-time stipend from the Legislature to remove large vessels, and this was the No. 1 vessel to remove with that money,” he said.

Crew members pull debris out of the water at the wreck of the Midas. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Crew members pull debris out of the water at the wreck of the Midas. (Kevin Clark / The Herald) Purchase Photo

Now state leaders are asking to put more preventative measures in place for these kinds of problems.

One of those is to make it so more people can give their vessels to the Department of Natural Resources Vessel Turn-in Program. Owners can get rid of boats that are close to becoming derelict or abandoned.

Those kinds of changes could help save money and the environment, said state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

She visited the Midas cleanup Thursday.

“If we had been able to get it out of the water four years ago, when it was still on the surface, it would have cost us $100,000 and less environmental degradation,” she said. “We’re sort of in the place of reacting at the worst time versus up front being proactive.”

Seattle company Global Diving & Salvage is removing the Midas, a job that’s going to cost $400,000.

The Derelict Vessel Removal Program pays up front, then bills the owner later. They rarely pay, said Wood, the program manager.

The removal program started in 2003, and has gotten rid of 800 boats at a cost of about $16 million. Less than 1% of that has been paid back by owners.

Every two years, the removal program receives $2.5 million from the Legislature. That’s a fraction of what it will take to remove the roughly 175 derelict vessels sitting in Washington waters.

Whatever can be recycled from the Midas will be. The rest is going to landfills.

Scrap metal is loaded onto a barge. Removal of the Midas should be complete by early next week. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Scrap metal is loaded onto a barge. Removal of the Midas should be complete by early next week. (Kevin Clark / The Herald) Purchase Photo

In its past life, the Midas was a commercial fishing vessel working between Alaska and Washington. At one point in the 1980s, it sold for more than $4 million.

Decades later it appeared in the Steamboat Slough between Everett and Marysville. Its owner moved it to the Snohomish River last year.

He registered the ship as Hannah Marie.

But until the very end, passersby may have only known it as the “Midas.” The name was printed on its side in yellow letters, over chipped blue paint.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

Report a vessel

Report derelict or abandoned boats and other suspected marine problems at www.mycoast.org/wa, or download the MyCoast.org app on a smartphone. It sends an alert to the correct department to check on each report.

More in Local News

Coming Sunday: Unauthorized marinas on the Snohomish River

This week on “Herald Headlines,” reporter Joey Thompson previews a story about boats parked illegally.

Inslee draws a line in the battle on clean fuels law

Rebuffed in 2019, the Democratic governor is turning up the heat on those in his party who oppose it.

Dog found dead after mini storage fire in Snohomish

Snohomish County Fire District 4 said firefighters didn’t find anyone in three damaged units.

Customer accidentally shoots woman at Oak Harbor restaurant

Both were eating at Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway. The woman didn’t initially realize she’d been wounded.

Olympic weightlifter convicted of sex abuse of Everett girl

Manuel Minginfel was a star Olympian, competing four times for Micronesia. Now he’s headed to prison.

Census hiring hundreds countywide for help with 2020 count

Workers are temporarily needed starting in May. Pay is $20 per hour, and schedules are flexible.

County hires UW-Bothell vice chancellor to lead Public Works

Kelly Snyder will replace Steve Thomsen, who retired in December after 33 years with the county.

Nurses at Swedish say they’ll deliver 10-day strike notice

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW announced Thursday members will file a strike notice at each hospital campus.

In her Mill Creek area home, Joni Earl, former Sound Transit CEO, and author Bob Wodnik talk about the transit agency’s decades-long effort to bring light rail to the region. Wodnik, a former Herald writer, has written “Back on Track,” a new book about the battles for light rail. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Light rail’s tenacious supporter: Joni Earl at center of book

In his new history of Sound Transit, former Herald writer Bob Wodnik delves into complex battles.

Most Read