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Man Faces Jail Time over Sunken Vessel Near Finley

M/V Forus owner convicted - faces jail time
M/V Forus owner convicted – faces jail time (WA State AG Office)

The first derelict vessel, or boat, conviction in Benton County  will see an Oregon man spend time in jail.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday Brandon Traner of Portland was arrested after failing to show up for his arraignment in March of this year, on charges of abandoning a derelict fishing boat that sank in the Columbia near Finley in 2013.

As Newstalk 870 reported March 5,   the 41-foot M/V Forus, a former salmon fishing boat was being piloted up the river after Traner was evicted from Columbia Marine Center in July of last year.   The pilot, Lyle Aylett, told authorities the boat began to take on water and sink.  He was able to swim to shore.   Traner didn’t try to raise the sunken vessel, which was posing a hazard to boats, shipping and even swimmers near Finley.  The boat sank in 40 feet of water, and the masts could have struck other vessels passing through the navigation channel.

Traner was extradited to Bentcn County, and was convicted Thursday on a variety of charges, and is facing 20 days in jail and numerous fines.   A restitution hearing will be held in September to determine how he will repay the thousands of dollars the state spent getting the vessel out of the river.   It also spilled oil and diesel after it sank.

The prosecution is part of Ferguson’s effort to locate and prosecute ship and boat owners who have abandoned hundreds of derelict vessels in various ports, rivers and harbors in Washington state.   This was the first such conviction in Benton County.


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