COUPEVILLE, Wash. -- While divers continue to plug holes in a sunken and leaking boat in Penn Cove, two large crane barges and support boats are steaming toward the scene.
State officials want the wreck off the bottom before it causes any more damage to the Whidbey Island treasure.
"We need to get that boat out of here," said state ecology spills coordinator Richard Walker. "We don't want any more damage to the local economy here."
When the aging boat Deep Sea caught fire and sank near Coupeville two weeks ago, it started leaking oil that shut down production of the area's world famous mussel grounds.
Health officials said the mussels are testing safe, but they cannot be harvested until the wreck is removed.
Contractors are hoping to get that job done shortly after the cranes and boats get into position this weekend.