PORT TOWNSEND — A cable snapped on a Port of Port Townsend boat lift while it was lowering a boat into the Boat Haven Marina, causing minor property damage and a small fuel spill in the marina.
The cable broke just after 9 a.m. Monday morning. The Port of Port Townsend’s smaller boat lift was being used to lower a 56-foot fishing vessel, Bernice, back into the marina waters, according to Rodger Slade of Towboat U.S., formerly Vessel Assist of Port Hadlock.
“It didn’t drop the boat but it was kind of at an awkward angle,” said Abigail Berg, the port’s finance director, speaking on behalf of Greg Englin, port operations manager.
“The important thing is no one was hurt,” she said.
Hydraulic fluid from the lift spilled into the marina. Slade said it was a minor spill.
“There’s a sheen and we’re not sure how much but those don’t hold a lot of fluid,” Slade said.
The boat will head back to the shop and the lift will be removed from the dock by a special crane today, according to Berg.
When the cable snapped it pulled the entire lift off balance, Slade said. One of the lift’s wheels came off the boat and left it hanging at a precarious angle.
The lift is routinely inspected every two weeks, Berg said, adding the port will investigate the cause of the equipment failure.
The port did not have on Monday an estimate of the cost to repair damage.
“The rigging is damaged and it tore some of the railing off,” said David Thompson of Thompson Boat, the company that had been working on the fishing vessel.
The boat is owned by Mike Deach of Lopez Island. He directed comments to Thompson.
Members of the Port Townsend Police, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and East Jefferson Fire-Rescue all arrived at the site after the report.