Rusty derelict turned out to be historic Liberty Ship lifeboat

 

Photo of ferr-cement lifeboatIn February of last year, Mike Malone of Zigzag put his boat into the Columbia River at St. Helens and headed upstream.

On his way past Sauvie Island, Mike decided to put ashore and investigate a curious derelict tri-hull boat that he’d noticed there many times before, while he was trolling for spring Chinook salmon along that part of the river. It was lodged high on the bank by Collins Beach, apparently washed there by the flood of 1996.

 

The tri-hull was huge and weird-looking, something like a flying saucer made of ferro-cement with three fins on the bottom of it and a flying bridge at the back. “When this thing was on the water, it must have been a bizarre-looking sight,” Mike said.

But there was something else there, too - something even more interesting than the tri-hull, although it didn’t look that way at first.

 

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.