Another boat sank in the Hoquiam river recently, Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers said this is the fourth incident with the same shipyard.
He said a citizen reported a sheen of fuel on the Hoquiam River yesterday morning originating from the area of a privately-owned boatyard in the 200 block of Monroe Street.
Upon the arrival of Hoquiam police officers and the Hoquiam Fire Department, responders noted a strong odor of fuel and a distinct sheen of petroleum product on the Hoquiam River heading downstream toward the Riverside Bridge.
There was debris floating adjacent to the boatyard with mooring lines still leading to a vessel completely submerged and not visible in the river.
A person staying at facility indicated an old Navy patrol vessel was moored at the boat yard and may have been damaged by a piling during the recent high storm tides. The boat had been moved and secured with additional floats, but around 1:40 AM, the witness heard the sound of rushing water and found the boat listing.
The boat sank in the Hoquiam River with fuel or engine oil escaping into the water, but no one notified the Coast Guard or called 911 to report it. The owner of the boat yard was not present this morning upon the arrival of police and fire units.
The Washington State Department of Ecology dispatched their Spill Response Team for the leaking petroleum. As officers were on scene, the tide changed and the sheen was observed moving upriver.
Oil could be seen bubbling up from the location of the sunken vessel.
This is the fourth boat which has either sunk at or been associated with this particular boat yard. The city has issued numerous code violations and has been working closely with the Department of Ecology, Attorney General’s Office and US Coast Guard regarding the sunken vessels and the concern over ongoing pollution exposure to the Hoquiam River.
Here is footage from the October sinking of another boat at that shipyard.