PHOTOS: Boat Breaks From Buoy, Gets Slammed At Three Tree Point Wednesday


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Story by Scott Schaefer
Photos by Bob Seaton

On a windy Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 28), an 18-foot motorboat broke away from its mooring buoy off the north side of Burien’s Three Tree Point neighborhood and ended up getting slammed repeatedly against a concrete retaining wall before being rescued.

Nobody was on board at the time, and there were no injuries to humans.

However, the boat didn’t fare so well.

“It got pretty chewed up – both sides were damaged with heavy scarring and scraping from bow to stern,” said Capt. Nick Stivers of Vessel Assist, the company that rescued the boat. “Even the steel anchor roller was busted and bent.”

After breaking off its anchored buoy sometime in the afternoon, the unmanned vessel floated in to shore and came to rest against a concrete paving wall, where wind and waves battered it.

“These kind of rescue jobs are very common,” Stivers added. “It’s very typical, especially during transition periods between summer and fall when the wind comes – people aren’t always ready for when that first blow comes in, and sh*t happens.”

The good news out of all this? The boat never ‘turtled,’ or turned over, which Stivers said is common, and often causes much more damage.

“This particular boat was a Gig Harbor-produced Tiderunner that didn’t ‘turtle’,” Stivers said. “It just filled with water, so when we pulled it away from the scene, we just pumped the water out and towed it to CSR Marine in Des Moines. If it had turtled it would’ve cost a whole heck of a lot more to rescue.”

Stivers said the boat’s owner contacted Boat US, a AAA-style service for boats, and their dispatch center called him and he responded.

The boat apparently came loose after its rope frayed and broke from the mooring buoy. Waves some three to four feet high didn’t help matters.

“Ropes can fray pretty quickly in rough seas,” Stivers said. “Boat owners should be more aware of this.”

The cost to rescue a boat can be pretty high too – Stivers’ minimum day rate starts at $240 per hour, with a 4-hour average rescue time.

Area resident Bob Seaton shared these pics of the boat:

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