Derelict vessel pulled from bottom of Penn Cove

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COUPEVILLE, Wash. —

Crews on Sunday raised the derelict fishing vessel that sank in Penn Cove, reducing the threat to nearby shellfish harvesting.

 

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Graham Johnson said the 140-foot Deep Sea is still an ugly sight, but is no longer quite the threat that it was.

 

"I'm happy they've got the boat out of the water," said Ian Jefferds of Penn Cove Shellfish.

 

Jeffereds' company halted the harvest of Penn Cove mussels after the vessel caught fire, sank and spilled fuel last month.

 

More than 5,000 gallons of fuel was recovered from the ship.

 

Jefferds expected tests on the mussels to be conducted on Monday.

 

"As long as everything stays the same as it is now and the tests come back all right, we should be able to open up after that," Jefferds said.

 

Now that crews have pulled the ship off the bottom -- where it was lying on its side in 25 feet of silt -- they are making sure it is pollution-free.

 

A Department of Ecology official said the vessel wouldn't be moved "until we're 100 percent sure it's safe for towing." 

 

The state's plan is to tow the ship to Seattle and scrap it -- hoping sales of the metal help recoup some of the costs.

 

The Department of Natural Resources said it will seek to hold the owner, Rory Westmoreland, accountable.