Boat sinking could have been avoided

Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I would like to comment on the article discussing sinking boats in Juneau. I am the owner of one of these vessels (my boat was in Douglas) and the harbor master did not contact me with this information nor did they try to contact me.

I am currently in school out-of-state and had someone in town staying on board. As the owner, I should have been contacted immediately. Instead the harbor called the live-aboard who ironically was out of town. Two weeks later, I received a phone call from the U.S. Coast Guard.

If the harbor would have contacted me in a reasonable time period, I am certain my boat would not have ended up at the bottom of Douglas Harbor, and I would have been spared the tremendous expense of salvage. In addition (and perhaps clarification), the harbor office does not have the boat salvaged without cost. The owner is still responsible for all costs, and the Coast Guard will only intervene if the vessel poses as a threat to navigation or pollution.

Believe me, I just spent many hours and thousands of dollars rectifying this situation which could have been avoided if the harbor master called me on day one, not day 14.

Denise Elston


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