On Thursday, September 15, the Port of Port Townsend commenced demolition and disposal of the vessel “Patrol Number 1”. The vessel was left on Port property following the termination of the Boat Haven Boat Yard tenancy of Patrol No. 1’s former owner.
The Port has made every effort to find a solution that would leave the vessel with a responsible owner capable of restoring her. The Jefferson County Superior Court’s order terminating Patrol No. 1’s owner’s tenancy afforded the former owner a month to access the site to remove the boat and other left property. The former owner failed to do so. A public auction was held in May and there were no bidders – even at an offered price of $1.
Following the public auction, the Court’s order afforded the former owner an additional month to remove the boat and property. Again, the former owner failed to do so. The Port proffered three informal settlement proposals to the former owner seeking to avert demolition and disposal of the vessel. At each turn, the former owner rejected these offers. Instead, the former owner opted to pursue protracted and unsuccessful legal maneuvers against the Port of Port Townsend, which cost the Port a significant amount of taxpayer money to defend. The former owner’s legal schemes cast a long shadow over the vessel and worked to obstruct the Port’s efforts to find a purchaser willing to complete the project and preserve the boat.
It is a sad day, and the Port is solemn in fulfilling its duty. We take very seriously our obligation to maintain Jefferson County’s maritime culture and heritage. However, we must fulfill our fiduciary duty to the public to conscientiously and diligently manage the unique properties and operations entrusted to us.
The responsibility for the demolition and destruction of Patrol Number One rests entirely upon the shoulders of the former owner. We deeply regret that the former owner’s decisions have necessitated this outcome.