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Photo Details
Photographer:Kyle Stubbs [View profile]Title:HELENA STARAdded:Aug 25, 2010
Photo Category: Wrecks & Relics
Forlorn and abandoned on Salmon Bay in Seattle, Washington is this old Dutch coaster, accompanied by a variety of other vessels that have apparently outlived their usefulness.

Length: 51.36 meters
Beam: 8.45 meters
Tonnage: 498 GT
Year of Build: 1947
Builder: Westerbroek Scheepswerf, Westerbroek, Netherlands

From records, it would appear she has been sitting in Seattle since being impounded in 1977 for drug trafficking.

Taken August 3rd, 2010.
Vessel Identification
Name:Helena Star I
Former name(s):
- Monica Star I (Until 1977)
- Helena Star 1 (Until 1977)
- Violette Erica (Until 1950)
Technical Data
Vessel type:General Cargo
Gross tonnage:497 tons
Summer DWT:650 tons

Additional Information
Build year:1947
AIS Information
AIS information: N/A
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© Kyle Stubbs
© Kyle Stubbs
© Kyle Stubbs
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Photo Comments (1)

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Fred Vloo on Jul 25, 2014 16:55 (3 years ago)
Notorious Drug Smuggling Freighter Headed for Scrapyard
By Reuters On July 25, 2014

Helena Star seen partially submerged in 2013. Photo courtesy Washington Dept. of Ecology/Flickr

ReutersBy Victoria Cavaliere

SEATTLE, July 24 (Reuters) – A freighter seized off the coast of Washington state nearly four decades ago in one of the largest marijuana busts in the region’s history was moved to Seattle on Thursday and will eventually be scrapped, local officials said.

The Helena Star was towed from Tacoma to Seattle by state agencies and will be inspected and broken down over the next week, said Bob Redling of Washington’s Department of Natural Resources.

The drug smuggling ship made national headlines when it was seized by the Coast Guard in 1978 with 37 tons of marijuana on board. At the time, it was the biggest maritime pot bust in West Coast history.

Helena Star’s South American captain and eight crew members were arrested, and the flagless ship, en route to Canada, was docked in Seattle.

The vessel eventually made it to auction and changed hands among private owners several times before being purchased by a Tacoma man who docked the rusting, aging structure in the city’s Hylebos Waterway, Redling said.

In 2013, the Helena Star sank, spilling 640 gallons of oil and diesel gasoline into the waterway and taking down another vessel next to it. The owner of the ship, Stephen Mason, has been charged with abandoning a vessel and polluting state waterways. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

The ship must dry out and undergo inspection before it is scrapped, Redling said. The sale of the scrap, estimated to bring in about $1 million, was unlikely to cover the price tag of recovery and demolition, he said. (Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Sandra Maler)

© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.
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