The Helena Star being lifted from the Hylebos waterway in Washington


Washington State does have a formal derelict vessel program that is administered by the Department of Natural Resources that provides funding and expertise to help public agencies remove and dispose of abandoned and derelict vessels. Washington has also established a Voluntary Vessel Turn-in Program, which allows people to turn in old/derelict vessels to the state. The state will accept and dismantle and dispose of vessels that pose a high risk of becoming a derelict or abandoned vessel.

Legislative Summary

Washington's Derelict Vessel Program is supported by a comprehensive set of state statutes and administrative codes that provide for the designation, removal and disposal of abandoned and derelict vessels, found on or above public aquatic lands, by authorized public entities. These laws make it illegal, and a criminal misdemeanor, to cause a vessel to become derelict or abandoned within the state.

Funding Summary

Washington’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program receives funds to remove vessels and for administrative costs from the Derelict Vessel Removal Account, which receives monies from a variety of sources including annual vessel registration fees ($3) and from non-resident vessel permit fees ($5). The Derelict Vessel Removal Account, which is housed within the Office of the State Treasurer, also receives money from the sale/disposal of abandoned and derelict vessels. Expenditures from this account may only be used by the Department for developing and administering the vessel turn-in program and to reimburse authorized public entities for up to ninety percent of the total reasonable costs of removing and disposing of ADVs.

POC Summary

The lead agency for abandoned and derelict vessels in Washington is the Department of Natural Resources, through the Derelict Vessel Removal Program.

Last updated Tue, 03/19/2024 - 05:33 pm EDT