• "Boat junkyard" becomes Hoquiam eyesore, state steps in

    By: Shelby Miller

    Updated:

    HOQUIAM, Wash. - From the surface, a bobbing bucket is all you can see when you're searching for Lady Grace. 

    The 70-foot vessel is now submerged in the Hoquiam River, becoming one of four boats to go under in the last two years. 

    >> Sunken boat owner says he can't move vessels

    "It's an eyesore, it's a huge eyesore, it's a public nuisance,” said Dorian Wylie, the City of Hoquiam's code enforcement officer.

    He's tired of seeing the mess, which stretches from the land to the water. He’s been working for years to get it cleaned up. 

    People who live close by are fed up with the property, too.  

    "Oh yeah, right, look at all them 'fricken boats. Can't even take a decent picture,” Laura Dayton said.

    On the property, KIRO 7 spotted boats, RVs, a dump truck and a crane.

    >> Sunken yacht spills hundreds of gallons of diesel in Olympia waters

    “It's one of the biggest eyesores in the community,” City Administrator Brian Shay said.

    Since 2017, four boats have capsized, spilling oil into the river.

    The Department of Ecology has been to the river multiple times. 

    The city said other boats on the property are barely hanging on. 

    They've issued infractions, cited the owner, and now they're heading to court. 

    "We're trying to take action, but I feel like the owner is just delaying the inevitable, which is just to clean up the property,” Shay said.

    >> Tax dollars used to clean up floating toxic junkyards

    Meanwhile, the state is stepping in. Using money from the state's derelict vessel program, they'll pay to remove Lady Grace. Because the other sunken boats are smaller, they don't qualify. 

    The city hopes the move has a ripple effect. 

    "It really is a blight on the community and we need to get it cleaned up,” Shay said.

    Lady Grace is expected to be removed from the Hoquiam River by the end of 2019.


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