PORT ANGELES — The state Department of Natural Resources has started the emergency custody process that will allow immediate action to remove the Eudora from Ediz Hook after a hole was found in the derelict boat.
Because of the hole, the 42-foot cabin cruiser that washed ashore on Ediz Hook on Sept. 14 now poses navigation and safety hazards, according to DNR spokesman Joe Smillie.
“The Coast Guard took a look at the boat yesterday and found it has a pretty significant hole,” Smillie said in an email issued Friday.
”Due to that damage and since we have not had a response from the owner since last Friday, we posted a notice that we are obtaining custody of the vessel,” Smillie said.
A Port Angeles police report listed the owner as 51-year-old David G. Schroeder who, they said, told police he bought the boat at an auction.
The timeline remains uncertain, though.
Because of the boat’s damage, DNR has to have a contractor lift it onto a barge, which will depend on contractor availability, according to the email.
The 42-foot recreational vessel Eudora washed up on the north side of Ediz Hook about 5:30 p.m. Sept. 14, according to a Port Angeles Police Department’s report.
The Coast Guard tried towing the vessel off the rocks but was unsuccessful and turned the situation over to the owner and DNR.
Before the hole was discovered, DNR was set to begin the 30-day formal process that allows the agency to legally seize a boat.
According to DNR’s website, a public entity can take action on a vessel two ways — temporary possession and/or custody.
Temporary possession is an emergency action used when a vessel is in immediate danger of sinking, breaking up, blocking navigation channels or posing an imminent threat to human health or safety, including the threat of environmental contamination.
In that case, a public entity may take control of the vessel to mitigate the threat if the owner is unwilling or unable to do so.
Temporary possessions are followed by the lengthier custody procedure, unless the vessel owner takes responsibility for the vessel, which includes paying any costs owed.
The owner of a derelict or abandoned vessel is responsible for reimbursing the authorized public entity for all costs associated with the removal and disposal of that vessel.
They include administrative costs and costs associated with any environmental damage.
Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at email@example.com.