A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Not your usual flotsam and jetsam

Written April 18th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Moody, second from right, and others look at what Moody had towed to Bowman Park Wednesday.

The riverfront is my beat, and Wednesday it offered an unusual sight: The hull of a derelict speedboat loaded with a collection of old tires and a toilet complete with its tank.

The wreck with its cargo was tied up at the Bowman Park dock, waiting for a tow truck to come and haul it away.

Sgt. Ryan Moody, with the patrol division of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, told me someone had called the department Monday and reported that a boat was caught in the bushes on the bank near the Albany railroad bridge. No one was in or near the boat, so there was no hurry, and the staffing situation at the time prevented an immediate response.

On Wednesday, Moody took out the sheriff’s river patrol boat, found the wreckage and towed it downstream to Bowman.

There was no indication how long this water-logged wreck had been adrift in the river or stuck on the bank, or where it had come from, let alone to whom it had belonged. The hull still bore a state registration number, so it may be possible for the sheriff’s office to track down the most recent owner.

The circumstances are veiled in mystery, of course, but what it looks like is this: Somebody had some unwieldy trash to get rid of. Instead of arranging for proper disposal, he piled the tires and the toilet in some leaky and motorless craft that was lying around the place and pushed the whole mess into the Willamette.

Maybe, if they can track the person down, they can send him the bill for towing the hull and its cargo to the dump. (hh)

9 responses to “Not your usual flotsam and jetsam”

  1. Avid Reader says:

    Send him a bill!!! Send him to jail for a bit.

  2. John Marble says:

    Unbelievably callous behavior. Full restitution plus 6 months in jail. Very unusual craft; perhaps someone will recognize it and call.

  3. centrist says:

    8X10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one??

  4. J. Jacobson says:

    “I’d much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they’re the first to be rescued off sinking ships.”

    Gilda Radner

  5. W.M says:

    I had called it in on Monday and told them the boat was adrift and not under power and that I could not see anyone on board and that I did not know if the person fell over board, if they were laying on the floor injured or if the boat had just come unmored. They told me that they would report it to the water patrol then called me back later and told me they did not have the staffing or time to go look and asked if I could see the numbers. I could not but told them it had appeared to be stuck on the bank at this time. It took them until Wednesday to respond. I am thankful that no one was injured and needed help.

    • Bill says:

      Yes, thank God no one was hurt or was drowning after falling over board. Should have had a better response time for sure.

    • Ginny Jordan says:

      Darned old law enforcement … you just can’t count on them at all … (sarcasm)!


  6. Bill says:

    Cameras at boat launches would be a good thing.

  7. Leroy says:

    I have an old boat i have been told i should dump it in the river. If someone made a living recovering derilics i would just take it to them but the rules on titles and costs i would rather just melt the thing and put it in the garbage can or the course of a few weeks. But short of a saws-all i dont want to spend anything or invest in taking it to the dump a risk a ticket for improper what have you. $ is an object over the course of 10 years the sun has only caused oxidation of the fiberglass.


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