Dave Ladomirako’s home slipped into the Columbia River on Monday.
“It is the story of the Titanic. The boat hits the ice, it takes on water, and down she goes,” said the 41-year-old Richland man.
The construction worker had been living on his 1963 Fairliner since the end of summer, moving it from marina to marina.
On Friday, he was bringing the 28-foot wooden vessel to a dock at the Columbia Point Marina when he hit a chunk of ice.
He got to the dock but worried the boat was taking on water. He alerted 911 and later Allen Rescue Services to check the hull to see if it was safe to leave it there.
Ladomirako had no money for repairs so they decided to keep the boat where it was to avoid further damage from ice and the weather.
“(The ice) was pretty bad in there, and Clover Island was iced in,” said Mark Allen, owner of Allen Marine Services.
Ladomirako planned to have it pulled onto a trailer and out of the water on Monday, but it came loose from its moorings.
It is the story of the Titanic. The boat hits the ice, it takes on water, and down she goes.
Boat owner Dave Ladomirako
“It sunk in the marina and how it got back out into the river is beyond me,” Lakomirako said. “I don’t know how it got there. I just don’t know.”
“I live on that boat. My clothes, boots, everything I own was on that boat,” he said. “All my stuff is floating all over. People are grabbing stuff and giving it back to me. It’s just like a scavenger hunt with debris going to the shoreline.”
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office launched a boat to help the U.S. Coast Guard at Clover Island secure the sunken craft, said Sgt. Bob Brockman.
“It sank, except for the bow bobbing in and out of the water, then drifted down the river,” Brockman said.
The boat ended up Monday evening against the rocks near the blue bridge, said Allen. They hope to try pulling it out Tuesday.
Ladomirako wasn’t sure what to do next. He was still looking for a place to stay on Monday night.
Talk about sinking to rock bottom. My whole house floated down river and sank.
Boat owner Dave Ladomirako
He’s in the earth moving business and is waiting for spring to get back to work. “I split with my wife and kids and had nowhere to go,” he said. “It has been really rough.”
And he’d let the boat’s insurance lapse.
“The boat was insured for so long and … I just didn’t have the money to do it,” he said. “I didn’t have the money, that’s why there is no fuel in it.”
Ladomirako said he might create a GoFundMe web account or get a donation bank account, but for now, anyone willing to help can contact him by email at Ladomirako@gmail.com.
“Talk about sinking to rock bottom,” he said.
Still, he remained thankful for the help he was receiving from a stranger – Mark Allen.
“Allen Rescue Services is great. He is helping me (with recovering the boat) and donated all of his time for me,” he said.