Without a Paddle: Law Enforcement Rescues, Seizes Jailed Man’s Boat on Willamette River

A West Linn man remains in custody at the Clackamas County Jail on multiple charges, but at least he can rest easier knowing his boat isn’t at the bottom of the Willamette River. 

Mark Douglas Simon, 41, was arrested by West Linn police on Oct. 16, allegedly siphoning gas from a motor vehicle for the 30-foot Sea Ray fishing boat in which he reportedly lives.

The 40-year-old boat must have needed more than just gas, though, because at some point while Simon was in custody, it began to take on water. The boat was illegally moored at a public fishing dock just upriver from the Oregon City Bridge

When Clackamas County deputies were called to the scene on Oct. 24, they found the craft mostly underwater, held to the dock by a single remaining mooring line. The CCSO Dive Team  was deployed, securing the boat with additional lines while other arrangements were made. 

On Monday, the Oregon State Marine Board, working with the Fred Divine Diving and Salvage Company, initiated a salvage operation that was ultimately successful in recovering the vessel. See video of the operation below:

Simon remains at the jail on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and third-degree theft, with his bail set at $40,000. He’s also been served with a post-seizure notice, requiring him to pay the cost of salvage, towing and storage for the vessel or risk losing the title to it.

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