Two boats were discovered submerged in their docks in two days at Lake Chatcolet and Rocky Point Marina.
The boats were discovered by their owners, still in their slips, submerged, June 15 and June 16. The occurrence is highly unusual according to Heyburn State Park Manager Ron Hise.
“One was at Chatcolet and one at Rocky Point, a day apart. It was like what the heck is going on,” Mr. Hise said. “It is not common at all. All the years I have been here I have seen maybe a handful of sunken boats.”
Mr. Hise has worked at Heyburn State Park for 37 years.
The cause in each case remains unknown.
“We still don’t know what the reason is why they sunk. Whether there was some mechanical issue or what,” Mr. Hise said. “They were inboard boats so there are things that go through the hull that could potentially create an issue if they are not sealed correctly.”
Mr. Hise said that heavy rains were initially thought to have played a factor except that both boats were covered.
“The one in Chatcolet was in a boat a garage so it was covered,” Mr. Hise said. “And the one at Rocky Point was in a covered boat slip so I wouldn’t think that rain would have played a factor in that.”
The Benewah County Sheriff Office was notified.
Benewah County Sheriff Dave Resser said that there were no further developments as of June 23.
The North Idaho Regional Hazmat team and the Department of Environmental Quality were also notified because the boats leaked some fuel. The amount of which was unknown. The boats were average size, older model, motor boats according to Mr. Hise.
Heyburn State Park is not subject to any liability for the recovery of the boats or any chemical spills according to Mr. Hise. He said dock renters are required to carry insurance coverage that includes fuel spill and boat salvage.
The boats were recovered by their owners.