Federal, State, Local Agencies Working to Pull Boat from River - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Federal, State, Local Agencies Working to Pull Boat from Columbia River

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FINLEY, Wash. - The Washington Department of Ecology, Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Benton County Emergency Management Division are working to recover a submerged boat in the Columbia River near Finley.

Crews were hoping to get the boat surfaced today, but there was a delay in getting a crane to the site. They now hope to get the boat out of the water by early tomorrow evening.

"It's in our interest to bring that vessel up so we can avoid the pollution threats and get that fuel out before it leaks into the environment," said Jeff Lewis, Department of Ecology Spill Response Team Supervisor. 

Global Diving & Salvage Inc. is attempting to pull the 41-foot wooden fishing boat from the water, to remove the potential threat of environmental damage. 

The DOE says the boat has approximately 50 gallons of diesel fuel and 8 gallons of engine and hydraulic oil onboard.

It sank back on July 12th, just off the bank of the Columbia River, two miles downstream of Two Rivers Park in Finley.

The Benton County Sheriff's office has been monitoring the boat since the wreck. Deputies say they have not observed any fuel or oil since they saw the initial sheen when the boat first sank. 

The federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and the Department of Natural Resources Derelict Vessel Removal Program are paying to retrieve the boat. Ecology and the coordinating agencies say they will seek reimbursement costs from the boat's owner, who wasn't able to recover the boat, which is in 40 feet of water.

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