The Hideaway is finally gone.
It’s been a month since the cabin cruiser ran aground off the Edmonds Marina Beach dog park on Halloween night. Since then, the boat has been stranded on the beach, attracting the attention of park visitors and sustaining additional damage almost daily by wind and tide action.
The City of Edmonds has been working with the boat owner, the owner’s insurance company and the State Department of Natural Resources to come up with a plan to remove it. (See earlier My Edmonds News coverage here.) It all came together Friday morning when crews from Global Diving and Salvage brought in a crane, a specialized trailer and other heavy equipment and began the delicate process of safely hoisting the Hideaway off the beach, securing it to a trailer, and finally removing it from the site.
For the past several days, Global has been removing fuel and other hazardous materials from the boat, ensuring that the beach area would be protected from potential contamination during the actual removal of the craft.
“We took out the batteries, fire extinguishers, and 149 gallons of gas,” said Katy Shaw, project manager for Global Diving and Salvage, which has been hired by the city to handle the removal.
With the Hideaway’s owner indicating that he has no interest in keeping the boat, the City of Edmonds has been working with the DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program to take possession of the boat and ultimately dispose of it.
“The process requires a 30-day waiting period before we can legally take possession,” said Edmonds Assistant Parks Director Dave Johnson. “But since the boat was sustaining additional damage every day and was creating a safety hazard in one of our most-used parks, DNR agreed to expedite the process and allow the boat to be removed and put in storage during the required waiting period. Right now everything looks clear for us to take legal possession on Dec. 18, at which time we plan to turn it over to Global to handle the actual salvage operation.”
But according to Global, there might not be much left of value.
“In cases like this, the salt water typically damages beyond repair anything of value such as electronics and mechanical equipment,” explained Shaw. “That pretty much reduces it to just the value of the scrap metal.”
Fortunately for the Edmonds, the Department of Natural Resources program provides for up to 90 percent reimbursement of costs incurred by the city for removing the boat.
“We’re keeping close track of our costs including contracting with Global, our staff time, and even the costs of the various certified letters to the owner, insurance companies, etc.” said Johnson. “In addition to the DNR reimbursement program, we’re looking into recouping some costs through the owner’s insurance. We’re hoping that we can recover most, if not all, of our added, non-staff-time costs.”
This has been a learning experience for city officials, as shipwrecks on Edmonds beaches don’t exactly happen every day. “In my more than 40 years with the city, I’ve never seen one before,” remarked Parks Manager Rich Lindsay. “And honestly, I hope to never see one again!”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel