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February 23, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Destroyed boats being raised following La Conner marina fire

Two of the six boats that sunk during a massive marina fire near La Conner were raised and put on barges Saturday and crews were working to raise two more Sunday, according to Larry Kibbee, president of the board for the Shelter Bay Community, owners of the Shelter Bay Marina.

“Now they’ll be taken to a containment area for insurance and investigation purposes,” Kibbee said, describing the burned boats as “really grotesque.”

All six boats were burned to the waterline and sank and a seventh boat that didn’t sink was destroyed in the fire. In all, the estimated worth of the seven boats was put at $1 million, according to Skagit County Fire Department officials.

The fire, which began about 4 p.m. Friday, started on one boat, which then drifted into another and spread from there, say officials

Kibbee hopes that the remaining two sunken vessels will be retrieved from the water Monday, reducing the environmental hazards from leaking fuel and other toxins.

On Saturday, Laura Hayes, the Department of Ecology on-scene coordinator, said as much as 2,400 gallons of oil and fuel had leaked into the harbor, with even more sitting on board the sunken vessels.

Sunday, divers and salvage crews were skimming material from the surface of the water. Booms were placed around the site to confine the oil and the DOE has been at the sight all weekend working on the cleanup, Kibbee said.

The full environmental impact of the fire has yet to be determined.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the Swinomish Tribe and Skagit County fire departments.

0 Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: boats, Environment, La Conner

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