Corroded water pipe blamed for patrol boat sinking

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A corroded water intake pipe is being blamed for the sinking of a Pierce County sheriff's patrol boat. Salvage crews managed to lift the 32-foot vessel from the bottom of a Tacoma marina on Tuesday so The Reliance could be towed to shore and hoisted on a trailer.

The News Tribune says crews determined that the problem is a 2-inch metal pipe beneath the deck. The pipe is one of two used to cool the engine. Officials say although crews do regular maintenance, the corrosion wouldn't necessarily have been visible on the outside of the pipe.

Marine experts are expected to inspect the vessel and salvage what they can.

Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer says it's too early to know whether the boat will be more expensive to repair or replace.

The Reliance sank Monday. Officials say it's valued at $500,000.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com