Norwalk Police: Houseboat cleanup was ‘seamless’

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A houseboat sits on the bottom Saturday morning at the Oyster Bend Marina in Norwalk.

NORWALK, Conn. – The cleanup of a houseboat that “sank” in the Norwalk River went well, Norwalk Police Officer Mike Silva said Wednesday.

“I gotta say, it went pretty seamless,” Silva told the Harbor Commission members and their meeting. “Regardless of what you might have heard or read, we were there, fire department was there, DEEP (Connectictut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) was there, Coast Guard was notified. The gentleman who owns the boat has insurance. Insurance paid for the cleanup. The vessel has been removed.”

A partially sunken houseboat sits on the bottom at Oyster Bend Marina in Norwalk. (Photo by Rick Reardon.)

The boat was found sitting on the bottom at the water’s edge Friday night at the Oyster Bend Marina at 23 Platt St., water washing over its  deck. Neighbors reported a strong odor, resembling paint thinner.

Silva said he had just finished his report Wednesday evening.

The boat’s owner had lived on it for years, but had recently moved to land, he said. The boat sank because the owner was no longer on board to monitor the bilge (water), he said. The owner “was very cooperative,” he said.

There was no motor on the boat, just a generator with “very old gas” in it, he said.

He was asked if there was any spillage.

“No,” he said. “Everything is cleaned up.”

Connecticut Tank Removal handled the cleanup, he said.

“It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Coastal Area Planning Consultant Geoff Steadman asked about the legality of living aboard a vessel, in particular reference to the health code.

Silva said police called the Coast Guard last year to inquire about a similar situation.

“We thought there were some safety issues on board,” he said. “The Coast Guard said, ‘Is the vessel tied fast in the marina?’ We said yes. They said “Is there any DEEP issue?’ We said no. They said, ‘It’s the responsibility of the marina. We can’t do anything.’”

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A houseboat sits on the bottom Saturday morning at the Oyster Bend Marina in Norwalk.


3 responses to “Norwalk Police: Houseboat cleanup was ‘seamless’”

  1. Oldtimer

    How does someone living on a boat dispose of sewage ? Modern boats have sewage storage or holding tanks and the operators take the boat to pumpout facilities as needed. A houseboat without engines cannot make regular trips to pumpout locations. Was this owner pumping sewage overboard, with the compliance of the marina owner ?

  2. Oldtimer

    Why is the name of the owner being kept out of the published reports ? Where was he able to buy insurance that will really pay for the cost of cleanup, etc. for a boat that is inoperable and could probably be called abandoned ?

  3. spanner

    I guess leaving two propane tanks as shown in the picture was safe for a few days they had to have been empty right?

    water washing over its deck? Didn’t it sink another 5 feet?

    strong odor, resembling paint thinner? Wasn’t that kind of chemical found on a site on Platt Street near that boat a few years back was that site cleaned up?Did boat rupture a old drum or something?Questions some would ask in the business of protecting our environment.History of a site is always a factor when responding.Observe deduct and respond.

    Connecticut Tank Removal? They were the ones who told the Coast Gaurd after one of the last Lajoies fires there were no problems a month later admitted a release of chemicals into Village creek and then the coast Gaurd under the first spill number had to reopen the case becuase someone lied or spoke to fast.I’m using one example at least three others could be mentioned from Ct Tanks removal expertise in the city @less than professional indusrty standards.

    Regardless of what you might have heard or read? we read the first account and it was very clear Ct State DEEP spill number 14-712 reported a release of product in the storm drain no where near the boat minutes before the boat was discovered report there was to have said leaking prooduct from the same source before and was reported for months.I missed this in the above account of condition of Norwalk river after the spill given by Norwalk officials as all clear.

    Ct Tank removal works for the client not the city not the state of course all is well.

    Silva said police called the Coast Guard last year to inquire about a similar situation

    A few weeks ago the Coast Gaurd called Norwalk on a tug that grounded, Norwalk said it was ok.Several days later Coast Guard relized the information given by Norwalk was inconsistant with the original incident called in and found more work should of gone into reporting the Tug and its condition on shellfish beds and why it was there,Coast Gaurd took the word of Norwalks first responders.The person in charge at the Coast Gaurd had no report in front of her that showed any reposnse by Norwalk transpired.(fact)

    No name of the owner of the house boat was just a red herring as it has been pointed out if Norwalk taxpayers got the facts there would be very little doubt Norwalk is ready for another challenge.

    While we are at it car accidents leave anti freeze,oil,gas and other things in the roadway.A tow truck company once inquired why are we responsible for cleaning up the waste?Never did get the answer yet that tow truck company fairs well in towing for the city now what about the waste?Where does it go where are the manifests?Waste is a cradle to grave product from releases does the fire dept keep track of whats spilled?They certainly supply speedy dry,and who pays for that on rt 95?

    It is generally accepted that one gallon of motor oil polutes 1,000,000 gallons of water.Lets just say that may be false what about some of the details above who are we to trust when it comes to facts if doubt is cast over something as small as a house boat spill that started at 20 gallons and went to 250 plus then what?

    Who in Norwalk can help us out I’m no expert but what does Norwalk have to stop a spill with until experts come,if its Ct tank removal they are sometimes hours away.1 800 oil tank gets a faster response in case you have troubles and don’t want Ct Tank removal.They work in Norwalk all the time when taking hazardous materials out of manholes on Washington st and West ave or the power plant.

    Clearly Mayor Rilling was smart to organize a team now let them do their job.They have at least one qualified member and she worked in the environmental field for years with many accomplisments to her credit.

    Quick tip for those who care about releases into a storm drain if sand to dike isn’t available a can of adhesive sprayed onto a storm drain and the plastic then is applied stops product from reaching the water maybe enough time to save a river lake or the city from cleanup.

    I’m sure our own responders can tell you that they also want everything to go seamless when it comes to our environment.

    I think I played in the sand box well leaving it as clean as I found it more than I can say for Norwalks environment and how its protected.Yes I wanted to include Oyster shell park but couldn’t make it work in this posting,

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