August 6, 2021
Port of Whitman County
Houseboat Found Capsized in Boyer Park Marina

The Port of Whitman responded early Wednesday to news of a partially sunken houseboat in their marina on the Snake River.

Colfax, WA (August 6, 2021) — The Port of Whitman County was alerted of a capsized houseboat in the Boyer Park marina early Wednesday morning. No one was hurt and no other boats were damaged in the incident. It is believed that the boat began to sink sometime overnight on August 3 or in the early hours of August 4.  The boathouse was floated and removed Thursday evening.

The Boyer Park manager, Mike Olmstead, was alerted to the boat sinking at around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Mr. Olmstead and park staff deployed oil containment booms shortly after they became aware of the situation to contain any potential oil or fuel spills.  Notifications were made to the National Response Center, Washington Emergency Management Division, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington Department of Ecology. In addition, the boat’s owner and the Port were all made aware of the situation as soon as possible after booms were deployed.  

“Although this was an unfortunate incident we are certainly glad no one was hurt,” said Joe Poire, Executive Director of the Port of Whitman County. “Mike, the park and marina manager, did an exemplary job handling the situation and alerting all the necessary people of what had happened. We are very grateful for Mike and his staff’s efforts.” 

A professional marine company was mobilized to assist in the houseboat’s removal. The removal process began Thursday morning. The process was delayed due to thunder and lightning but was completed by Thursday evening. The cause of the sinking has yet to be determined.

Ecology spill responder Sean Tompson said, “quick response by the Marina helped reduce impacts from leaking fuel, and a coordinated response with the environmental contractor Graymar and Associated Underwater Services were crucial to helping right and remove the boat yesterday.”

The marina dock that the houseboat was originally tied up to was damaged in the incident. The extent of the damage is under evaluation.

The Port of Whitman operates Boyer Park and Marina, a 56-acre full-service marina and campground on the Snake River downriver from Lower Granite Dam.  Boyer Park features long-term or transient boat moorage, shaded campsites for RV's with full and partial hookups, camp cabins, a small on-site motel and tent sites, meeting a wide spectrum of camping and moorage needs. The Park has an onsite convenience store, restaurant, laundry room, restrooms, shower facilities and a good-sized swimming beach. Boat gas is available from a floating fuel dock.

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About the Port of Whitman County

The Port of Whitman County is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Whitman County through industrial real estate development, preservation of multi-modal transportation, facilitation of economic development and provision of on-water recreational opportunities