Chapter 11.44


11.44.010    Citations.

11.44.020    Impoundment – Authorized when.

11.44.030    Impoundment – Expenses.

11.44.040    Impoundment – Sale of impounded craft.

11.44.050    Impoundment – Impounding-in-place.

11.44.060    Impoundment – Enforcing authority not liable.

11.44.010 Citations.

Whenever any vessel is found in violation of any of the provisions of this title and the owner, master or other person in charge of the vessel is not in the immediate vicinity, any person authorized to enforce the provisions of this title may, upon finding such vessel, take the identification number and any other information which may identify its owners, master or other person in charge of it and shall conspicuously affix such citation to the offending vessel. (Ord. 90-83 (part)).

11.44.020 Impoundment – Authorized when.

Any person entitled to enforce the provisions of this title may, in addition to other specific provisions regarding the same, take immediate possession and/or impound and remove any vessel or obstruction when:

A. The operator or master of the same reasonably appears incapable of safely operating the same or appears incapable of directing the disposition of the same;

B. The operator or master of the same refuses to sign a citation, or refuses or neglects to obey an order of the enforcing authority to proceed from or to an area following a citation, or in an emergency;

C. The operator or master operates a vessel or obstruction in a negligent, reckless or other manner so as to endanger the safety of others or to unreasonably interfere with the navigation of other vessels and the enforcing authority believes such operation of the vessel or obstruction would continue unless possession be taken of the same;

D. The vessel or obstruction appears unsafe for transportation; or

E. The vessel or obstruction is unattended and is either obstructing a navigable waterway or presenting an imminent danger to life or property.

F. Except as provided for in preceding subsections, a vessel or obstruction may be impounded and/or removed when it:

1. a. Appears abandoned, or

b. Is anchored or moored in an anchorage, waterway or submerged street area without a valid permit, or

c. Is in violation of other provisions of this title or state law; and

2. When at least 72 hours have passed since issuance of an order by the enforcing authority to remove the vessel or obstruction.

The enforcing authority shall remove the vessel or obstruction using such methods as in his or her judgment will prevent unnecessary damage to said vessel or obstruction, and/or delegate the task of removal and impounding of said vessel or obstruction to a private party, which shall also be subject to the requirement for exercise of care assigned herein to the enforcing authority.

Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, any residential property owner, or person having charge of such property, may have an unauthorized vessel found on the property impounded immediately upon giving written authorization. (Ord. 94-045; Ord. 90-83 (part)).

11.44.030 Impoundment – Expenses.

In the event possession is taken of any vessel, or obstruction as authorized in WCC 11.44.020, the expenses incurred by the enforcing authority in the removal, towing, impounding and moorage of the same shall be paid by such vessel or obstruction or the owner or other person in charge thereof. The enforcing authority may decline to release possession of any vessel or obstruction until all charges are paid. (Ord. 90-83 (part)).

11.44.040 Impoundment – Sale of impounded craft.

In the event a vessel or obstruction remains impounded for 90 days and the charges of towing and impounding remain unpaid, the enforcing authority may sell the same at public auction. The enforcing authority may maintain an action against the owner or person in charge of the vessel or obstruction for recovery of the expenses of towing and impounding, or the remaining balance thereof, in the event of sale of the same. (Ord. 90-83 (part)).

11.44.050 Impoundment – Impounding-in-place.

When taking possession as authorized in WCC 11.44.020, the enforcing authority may impound the vessel or obstruction in place by posting the same with one or more signs or notice in conspicuous places stating “Sheriff Impound – Keep Off” and notifying the owner, master or person in charge of the impounding. The enforcing authority may, in his discretion, appoint as custodian the owner or master, or the owner or operator of the facility or property where the vessel is moored or anchored. Upon the posting of such signs, it is unlawful for any person:

A. To move, load or unload, rebuild or enter upon such vessel or obstruction without written permission from the enforcing authority, other than for necessary maintenance and repair to prevent deterioration of the same or sinking;

B. To remove, mutilate, destroy or conceal any notice or sign posted by the enforcing authority pursuant to the provisions of this title. (Ord. 90-83 (part)).

11.44.060 Impoundment – Enforcing authority not liable.

The enforcing authority shall not be held responsible for damages incurred as a result of impound of a vessel so long as all reasonable and safe practices are employed in the operation. (Ord. 90-83 (part)).