ERROR: Macro sectionTag is missing! Derelict vessel being towed to Port Townsend from Bainbridge Island today -- Port Angeles Port Townsend Sequim Forks Jefferson County Clallam County Olympic Peninsula Daily NEWS
Derelict vessel being towed to Port Townsend from Bainbridge Island today

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The state Department of Natural Resources is having a derelict tugboat towed to the Port Townsend Boat Haven from Bainbridge Island today.

A tug is scheduled to arrive early this morning to tow the Chickamauga to Boat Haven Marina in Port Townsend.

“It will be at the boat yard until a decision is made whether or not to dispose of it,” said Toni Droscher, DNR's aquatic resources division communications manager.

The state has no plans to restore the 70-foot, 100-year-old wooden tugboat that sank Oct. 2 while it was moored at the marina on Bainbridge Island.

It carried about 400 gallons of diesel fuel and 10 gallons of lube oil when it sank.

Oil cleanup

The state Department of Ecology and the Coast Guard oversaw the cleanup of oil leaking from the sunken tugboat.

The Chickamauga was raised a week later Oct. 10, with contractors regularly monitoring the vessel for oil leaks.

To safeguard against additional oil escaping into the water, the boat has been surrounded by a containment boom and cleanup pads.

DNR took custody of the Chickamauga on Jan. 16 after the owner failed to remove it, Droscher said.

Criminal charges

The state Attorney General's Office had filed criminal charges against the owner, Anthony R. Smith, the day before.

The attorney general charged Smith with one count of theft in the first degree, one count of causing a vessel to become abandoned or derelict and one count of discharge of polluting matters into state waters.

Smith has until Feb. 18 to appeal DNR's decision to take custody of the vessel.

If no appeal is filed, DNR may put out a bid for dismantling and disposing of the vessel.

In the meantime, DNR is also conducting a cultural resource review to assess the vessel's historical significance.

A museum or historical preservation organization interested in the vessel can contact DNR for more information at dvrp@dnr.wa.gov.

Last modified: January 30. 2014 8:16PM
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