Derelict Vessel Program
To Report Oil or Hazardous Materials Spills 24 hours/day
National Response Center
Washington State Department of Emergency Management
(800) 258-5990 or (800) OILS-911
For other marine emergencies call 911
Some cell phones also offer direct emergency contact with the US Coast Guard at *24 (*CG)
Any Authorized Public Entity may take temporary possession of a vessel if it is: (i) In immediate danger of sinking, breaking up, or blocking navigational channels; or (ii) poses a reasonably imminent threat to human health or safety, including a threat of environmental contamination; and (iii) the owner of the vessel cannot be located or is unwilling or unable to assume immediate responsibility for the vessel, any authorized public entity may tow, beach, or otherwise take temporary possession of the vessel.
Before taking temporary possession of the vessel, the authorized public entity must make reasonable attempts to consult with the DNR or the United States Coast Guard to ensure that other remedies are not available. The basis for taking temporary possession of the vessel must be set out in writing by the authorized public entity within seven days of taking action and be submitted to the owner, if known, as soon thereafter as is reasonable. If the authorized public entity has not already provided the required notice, immediately after taking possession of the vessel, the authorized public entity must initiate the notice provisions in RCW 79.100.040(1). The authorized public entity must complete those notice requirements before using or disposing of the vessel as authorized in RCW 79.100.050. Note that DNR will not reimburse an agency that doesn’t follow the notice provisions. Reimbursement also is subject to fund availability.