Quartermaster Drive closed part of Monday as sailboat leaned near power lines

A sailboat washed ashore along S.W. Quartermaster Drive. - Natalie Johnson/Staff Photo
A sailboat washed ashore along S.W. Quartermaster Drive.
— image credit: Natalie Johnson/Staff Photo

Quartermaster Drive was closed for several hours on Monday afternoon as a sailboat that washed ashore in Quartermaster Harbor leaned dangerously close to power lines along the road.

Fire Chief Hank Lipe said the mast of the leaning boat came within a foot of power lines around the time of low tide, but Vashon Island Fire & Rescue officials were able to prop the boat up with pieces of wood to prevent it from falling any further.

“The metal mast of the sailboat touching the energized electrical line with saltwater underneath would be extremely hazardous," Lipe said. "Not to mention the fact that it would do a lot of damage to a PSE line, but it was the public safety side of it I was concerned with."

PSE representatives arrived on the scene, placing a protective wrap on the power lines in case the mast did fall.

Officials from the King County Sheriff's Marine Unit eventually arrived as well, further stabilizing the boat and contacting a salvage company to tow away the boat.

Lipe said the U.S. Coast Guard determined that the sailboat, which had a hole in its hull, was registered to an owner on Bainbridge Island. However, the Coast Guard was unable to contact the owner and at high tide on Tuesday the boat was hauled off by the salvage company.

“It was a successful outcome," Lipe said.

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