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$2 million and 18 months later, Helena Star arrives in Seattle to be scrapped

An abandoned vessel that sank in Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway 18 months ago has reached the Seattle scrap yard that will dismantle it, the state said Monday.

The 167-foot Helena Star sank in January 2013, and the state Department of Natural Resources took custody of it last August. The sunken boat was raised from the water and refloated on July 22.

The cleanup and salvage process is estimated to cost $2 million, the state said.

Crews towed the vessel to the Stabbert Yacht and Ship drydock on Lake Union, where it arrived July 24. Funds from scrapping the steel will go to the state’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program, which takes care of vessels such as the Helena Star, but the scrap metal won’t be nearly enough to cover the cost of the removal, DNR said.

A 62-foot landing craft escorted the vessel as it was towed by a tug boat up Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks and into Lake Union. Four people were aboard the Helena Star during the trip, to watch for leaks and help with mooring lines.

Another derelict vessel that was tied to the Helena Star in Tacoma, the 130-foot Golden West, was removed in October.

The total price tag for clearing both vessels is expected to exceed $2 million, the state has said.

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