Raising Justin: the Sunken Vessel off of Beach Drive

Justin is the 75 foot vessel that sank yesterday off the shores of Beach Drive causing a fuel spill in the waters of Puget Sound.  It’s a WWII style landing craft that was being used to carry boulders and material back and forth for construction of a bulkhead for a home located around the 5400 block of Beach Drive.  We have our coverage, including photos and video posted hereWe will be updating this post throughout the day.  If you have photos, videos or tips you would like to share, please contact us!

This morning, they are preparing the raise Justin.


Throughout the night, the area was patrolled by the Coast Guard with their blue lights flashing.  During the wee hours, a new barge with a crane has joined this attempt to fix the “Beach Drive Bulkhead Blunder”.  Helicopters are already flying over this morning.


Tides just passed the first high tide of 10.09 at 8:08 this morning and will be slightly heading down to a low of 6.53 at 1:43 pm followed by the next high of 9.83 at 6:43 pm.  At 1:40 am tomorrow, the tide will be at a low -0.64.  According to various weather reports, it should be a crisp, sunny day following some morning fog.  The tides and weather appear to be in Justin’s favor.

9:30 am update:  The large crane is being positioned and there is a diver(s) in the water.



9:50 am update:  we’ve noticed sheen from the fuel spill up to the shores of the 4700 block of Beach Drive (by Emma Schmitz Memorial Viewpoint).


West Seattle Blog’s continuing coverage is here. and…

West Seattle Herald’s continuing coverage is here.

10:20 am update:  Scuppers notes that the cable that has been connected (to Justin?) has not budged in the last hour (watch the red diamond in the center of the photo).



Scupper is heading out in the BDB Zodiak to investigate how far north the fuel sheen has spread.

Update 10:30 am: the cable just pulled up something – not sure if it’s a metal part from Justin, possibly a piece of it’s railing?


Update 11:25 am:  Scupper has returned with video showing a thicker slick north of Emma Schmitz View Point (4600 Beach Drive).  We wish the media could get a shot from the air to show the current extent of the fuel slick.

A seal pops up to check out the seen.


2:10pm update: We can see Justin!


Crew has rigged up new larger strap.



Update 4:30 pm: the crew has rigged two harnesses around Justin and making adjustments, preparing to raise the sunken vessel.


The sunset will be around 6:202 tonight with the tide heading back down at 6:45pm.

5:37 pm update:  We’re seeing more of what appears to be Justin’s cabin.


6:00 pm update: more photos of Justin as the vessel continues to be lifted from Puget Sound and of the Coast Guard helicopter that has been circling overhead.





7:15 pm update… more photos compliments of Scupper.







Click here for more night photos and the final stages of salvaging the sunk vessel, Justin.


  1. thanks for keeping us up to date. I,too, wish the news crews would fly over so we could get a look at the slick.

  2. TV stations’ chopper pilots don’t work weekends unless there is a special broadcast (fireworks, parades), so you’re not going to see that view, unfortunately. The Coast Guard might at some point release its aerials, if it was photographing. The Dept. of Ecology had some pix up from their flyover yesterday.

  3. that’s amazing that our local news doesn’t have weekend pilots to cover breaking news.

  4. Eilene Hutchinson says

    Thanks for the timely updates.

  5. You’re welcome, Kathleen and Eilene – it’s been amazing to watch this story develop.

  6. Never have. Choppers are STUNNINGLY expensive. I’m really surprised they haven’t long since dropped them altogether, or pooled resources – the fuel, the insurance, and the salary for a well-trained pilot is a massive expense. They have a lot of legacy expenses they really shouldn’t have to have any more, like the big satellite truck you saw KING park out on Beach Drive last night … you can do live shots via IP now, pretty good quality, but they’re stuck with these quarter-million-dollar (or more) obsolete pieces of equipment so they have no choice but to use ’em… Anyway, thanks, Rhonda & “Scupper” for the ongoing coverage. I’m pointing to you for night photos for now, we had to move on to a few other things, though I might peek back that way in a couple hours!

  7. pooling resources would make too much sense, wouldn’t it 🙂

    Thanks, Tracy – we love WSB!


  1. […] confirmed via AIS what I saw out in the Straits of Jaun de Fuca. it was the same 1950′s army landing craft that had sunk off the shores of Beach Drive in late […]

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