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Boat sinks in Sinclair Inlet while owner is in Kitsap County jail
A 1964 32-foot Owens cabin cruiser sank off the shore of Port Orchard over the weekend and officials were hoping to haul it out of the water sometime Wednesday or Thursday.
Port Orchard Police Department Commander Geoffrey Marti said Tuesday that the boat's owner, Steven Holt, is currently incarcerated at the Kitsap County Jail. Marti also said that city officials have had problems with the boat in the past.
"I'd like to have the boat destroyed, but the owner is not cooperating in waiving his right to the boat so we're gonna have to go through a process to seize the boat," Marti said.
Port Orchard police and the Department of Natural Resources were working together to find a contractor to pull the boat out of Sinclair Inlet.
"It's one of those things where there's a lot of paperwork involved, but we're working as fast as we can to get the boat out of the water because it is a priority," Marti said.
Marti said that there is a sort of silver lining in this case in knowing where the registered owner is, even if he is in county lock-up.
"We do have access to the owner," Marti said. "A lot of times the boats are abandoned. For financial reasons they just abandoned them and rely on local governments to deal with the aftermath and it's a problem."
Marti also said that Port Orchard police will be diligent.
"Fortunately we don't have a lot of these because we try and stay on top of boats illegally anchoring in the city," he said. "There are some laws to enforce that type of thing but we do run into issues if its' a vessel that's owned by somebody that's Native American. The main thing here is the boat is sunk and it's a priority for us and DNR to take action and we do have the authority to do that under (state laws dealing with) derelict vessels."