Local, state and federal agencies are working on a plan to get a 41-foot wooden fishing boat out of the Columbia River.
The boat sank July 12 about two miles downriver from Two Rivers Park in Finley.
The government took over the recovery of the boat July 23 after the owner was unable to remove it, according to a state Department of Ecology news release.
Ecology spokeswoman Brook Beeler declined to name the boat's owner Friday when asked by the Herald. The cause of the sinking has not been determined.
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On Tuesday, workers will try to remove 50 gallons of diesel fuel and 8 gallons of engine and hydraulic oil from the boat, which has an estimated weight of 40 tons, the press release said. They are trying to stabilize the boat to reduce the environmental threat when it is taken out of the water.
A large derrick barge crane, which isn't available in the Tri-Cities, must be brought in to remove the boat, Beeler said.
The department would like to start removing the boat as soon as Thursday, but that will require making sure that several crews are available.
The boat sank in water about 40 feet deep. It was partially lifted on Aug. 2 and moved to water about 6 feet deep. A 20-foot mast also has been removed to make the boat lighter.
The boat couldn't be towed upriver to the Port of Pasco because of lead weights in its hull, which made it unbalanced.
Recovering and salvaging the boat is expected to cost about $80,000, Beeler said. Global Diving and Salvage Inc. of Seattle is working as the private contractor on the project.
The operation is being paid for with money from the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and the Department of Natural Resources' Derelict Vessel Removal Program.
Ecology and the other agencies -- the Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and Benton County Emergency Management Division -- will seek to get back at least some cost from the owner, Beeler said.
The money could come from issuing a fine or asking the owner to reimburse the state.
"There are all kinds of additional factors that go into what we get back," she said.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom