Freighter Helena Star makes it to Seattle where it will be disassembled

The refloated Helena Star arrived in Seattle on Thursday so it can be disassembled and recycled after it sank in the Hylebos Bay last year.

The freighter, with four crew members on board, departed at 7:30 a.m. and was accompanied by an escort vessel and a tug boat to ensure smooth sailing.

There were no delays in the four-hour voyage and everything went according to plan, said Melissa Ferris, program manager for the Derelict Vessel Removal Program with the state Department of Natural Resources.

The ship arrived at Ballard Locks, the passageway that connects the salt water of Puget Sound with the fresh water of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, at 1:30 p.m. It waited two hours before getting through, Ferris said.

“It got a lot of attention at the locks, because it looks like a ghost ship with all sorts of things hanging off it,” she said.

At Stabbert Yacht and Ship, the Star will be checked for hazardous materials, lead paint and debris before it’s taken apart for recycling.

The 167-foot ship sank Jan. 25, 2013 in Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway, spilling 640 gallons of oil and diesel and bringing down a fishing vessel attached to it.

On Tuesday, two floating cranes refloated the Star and crews drained the water and patched any holes to prepare it for the trip to Seattle.

Global Diving and Salvage of Seattle proposed the salvage plan four months ago, and it was approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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