FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2012
Vessel that caught fire, sank in Penn Cove to be scrapped in Seattle shipyard
Fire investigation continues
OLYMPIA – The vessel Deep Sea, which was towed into Stabbert Maritime Yacht and Ship in Seattle on Wednesday, June 6, will be broken up and disposed of once the investigation of the cause of the fire is complete, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today.
The vessel caught fire on May 12 while illegally anchored on state-owned aquatic lands in Penn Cove on Whidbey Island; it sank the following evening. DNR has asked the King County Sheriff’s fire investigation unit to assist with determining the cause of the fire.
DNR does not yet have a cost estimate to dismantle the vessel. The crews that raised the vessel from Penn Cove estimated the Deep Sea was filled with 30,000 to 40,000 pounds of mud and silt when it was hauled out. The mud will need to be removed from the vessel before a full assessment can be made of the extent of toxic substances on board, such as asbestos. The more toxic materials found, the more it will cost to dispose of the vessel and its contents.
Disposal of the vessel will be paid for out of DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program, along with a portion of the $3 million one-time Jobs Now Act funding appropriation from the 2012 Legislature. The shipyard will sell the scrap and credit the proceeds against the state’s costs for disposal. DNR expects the disposal operation to be completed sometime in July.
Not counting the unknown costs to dismantle the vessel, the estimated state cost to handle the oil spill and raising the vessel have amounted to approximately $1.5 million.
Raising the 'Deep Sea'
A multi-agency unified command coordinated the recovery of the vessel, which was raised on June 3 and hauled to Seattle on June 6. The command comprised the Coast Guard, Ecology and Island County. Assisting in the response were DNR, Global Diving & Salvage Inc. and NRC-Environmental Services (NRC-ES). The county’s departments of Emergency Management and Public Works and the Island County Sheriff’s Office provided local support to the response effort.
The unified command also received assistance from the Washington departments of Health (WDOH) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and helicopter service from the King County Sheriff’s Office.
DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program
DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program (DVRP) provides funding and expertise to public agencies to assist with the removal of abandoned and derelict vessels from state-owned aquatic land, which DNR manages. At any given time, there are about 200 derelict vessels on the rivers, lakes, and estuaries of Washington. Primary funding for the DVRP comes from a $3 surcharge placed on annual vessel registration fees and an additional $5 charge added to non-resident vessel fees.
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, DNR Aquatics Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1523, firstname.lastname@example.org