Stolen WSUV research vessel recovered
A research boat stolen from Washington State University Vancouver was recovered Thursday morning in Portland after a research student posted to a online fishing forum.
The 16-foot Boston Whaler was stolen Monday night from the boat storage yard on campus. Thieves cut chains off the gate and disassembled a locked chain-link fence to gain access, and then towed the boat.
Graduate student Tyler Hicks then posted on ifish.net about the stolen boat, asking people active in the fishing community to keep an eye out for it. Someone on the forum said they saw the boat at a ramp on Swan Island in Portland.
Lt. Dave Stephenson of the campus police department went to Swan Island on Thursday morning and found the boat beached about 100 yards from the boat launch; its trailer was abandoned in the parking lot. The only thing missing was a small trolling motor stolen off a skiff that was also stored in WSUV's boat yard. The boat, used for ocean and water research, was intact.
"Big kudos to the research student and the people in the chat room watching for us," Stephenson said.
The broken fence around the boat yard has since been fixed.