Thursday, December 9, 2021
Dec. 9, 2021

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Salvage crews say sunken crab boat ‘unrecoverable’

The Columbian

CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT — A fishing vessel that grounded on rocks around A-Jetty and sank near Cape Disappointment with thousands of pounds of Dungeness crab in its hold earlier this month is now considered “unrecoverable.”

Last seen close to the tip of the jetty, the approximately 78-foot-long Titan is under 40 feet of water and likely to stay there until after the first of the year.

“It essentially becomes an artificial reef,” said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

The Titan’s owner, HD Fisheries LLC, contracted with Global Diving & Salvage to try to retrieve the vessel after efforts by the Coast Guard and crew to keep it from flooding failed and the five crew members had to abandon it early in the morning Dec. 5.

Global tried to salvage the vessel the next day, but had to postpone their efforts several days later when heavy currents and dangerous wind and weather conditions rolled in.

Global hopes to send divers down to examine the vessel when the sea-state improves. Right now, it looks like it will be difficult to get a diver out until after the New Year, according to the Coast Guard.

No one was injured when the boat grounded on the jetty. The accident was likely due to problems with the boat’s autopilot features, Klingenberg said, but added that the Coast Guard is still investigating.

There is no way to tell whether the trapped crab — valued at up to $175,000 — have been able to escape from the flooded vessel.