Owner of beached sailboat in Edmonds could face hefty fines

Todd Herman’s 30-foot sailboat has been stuck on the rocks in Edmonds for more than a month. He couldn’t find anyone to help.

EDMONDS, Wash. — They say that the happiest days in a boat owner’s life are when they buy it and when they sell it.

But the unhappiest day for owner Todd Herman was the day his 30-foot sailboat got stuck on shore. Now, he doesn’t know how to get it for free.

“How can I let this happen?” Herman said, the person was given the boat by a relative.

Between driftwood and seaweed along the rock Edmonds shore, the sailboat now hangs like an anchor around his neck.

“What a terrible day,” said Andrew Burke, a visitor at the site where the sailboat was stranded. “It was an expensive day.”

Relying on a mast, living in the sand and with a hole in the hull, a 30-foot sailboat has been stranded in the rocks south of Edmonds Ferry since July 5.

Herman said he anchored the boat 50 yards from shore with a 20-foot gap between the keel and the deck of Puget Sound, but the high tide and record low tide caused the sailboat to hit rocks.

Herman took responsibility.

“It’s just a matter of not checking the tide chart for the next day. I don’t expect record low tides,” he said.

Herman said he called the city, county and the Coast Guard for instructions but did not receive any information. He was told that the boat was technically owned by BNSF Railroad, but received no word from the agency.

BNSF said it was trying to determine if the boat was in their possession. If that is the case, a spokesman said the rail industry would work with the Coast Guard to determine next steps.

If not, Herman says he has no choice.

The boat was also looted with electronics and fishing gear. What frustrates him most, Herman says, is the lack of support he feels from the boating community.

“I think we are like brothers, that we care about each other,” he said. “I can’t ask anyone for help. No one. I don’t understand.”

If it starts leaking diesel fuel on board, Herman could face hefty fines from the state.

“If you leak diesel fuel on the coast, you endanger all this precious wildlife,” said Burke, a bystander, as he and his family took pictures of the ship. “I feel sorry for this guy.”

But one man’s suffering is another man’s muse.

Artist Rowan Carey says he finds inspiration in the rubble. He sat for hours on Thursday painting a portrait of the boat on the beach.

“It’s bittersweet. The whole scene is bittersweet because it looks cool but there’s a sad story behind it,” he said.

Herman said he plans to use the boat as a way to pay tribute to his late father, who taught him to sail when he was young. His hopes are fading.

Herman shook his head and said, “How can I get this out?”

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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