Work begins Saturday to remove sunken ships on Hylebos Waterway

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that its contractor, Stabbert Yacht & Ship, will remove the 130-foot abandoned vessel Golden West from the Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma on Sat., Oct. 19. The contractors will tow the former fishing vessel to their shipyard just inside the Ballard Locks in Seattle for dismantling, recycling and disposal.

The removal of the Golden West clears the way for the removal of the 167-foot Helena Star, which sank on Jan. 25 in the Hylebos Waterway. The Helena Star will be scheduled for removal in the coming weeks. The Golden West was tied to the Helena Star when the Helena Star sank and was lying at an extreme angle until the boat was righted and secured to the shore. The Golden West must be moved out of the way to give crews safer access to the Helena Star.

DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program officially obtained custody of the Golden West and the Helena Star Aug. 16 after the 2013 state Legislature appropriated additional funds for their removal. Both vessels had been on DNR’s vessel watch list for several years, but the program lacked funding to remove them.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the Washington Department of Ecology, and DNR will be meeting next week to develop a unified plan for raising, moving, and dismantling the Helena Star.

The Washington Department of Ecology will begin removing two sunken vessels on the Hylebos Waterway. (PHOTO COURTESY WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY)

The Washington Department of Ecology will begin removing two sunken vessels on the Hylebos Waterway. (PHOTO COURTESY WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY)