‘Pirate boats’ leaving waste on the Willamette

'We have to follow the rules. They're not checked'

Residents on the Willamette in SW Portland have noticed dumped waste stemming from pirate boats (KOIN).
Residents on the Willamette in SW Portland have noticed dumped waste stemming from pirate boats (KOIN).

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There are pirates on the Willamette. Well, kind of.

For the past two years, Dan Legree has noticed waste stemming from boats on the river that float all the way to the back door of his house on the Macadam Bay. The stream of white bubbles appears to becoming from “pirate boats,” which house people that would otherwise be homeless. The local residents call this area of the bay the “pirates cove,” because it features about 30 house boats with expired tags.

Dan Legree isone of the local residents who have noticed people dumping waste from pirate boats (KOIN).
Dan Legree is one of the local residents who have noticed people dumping waste from pirate boats (KOIN).

“We have to follow the rules,” said Jay Clemens, another local resident who has noticed the pirate boats dumping waste. “We are checked all the time. They’re not checked.”

Tracking down these pirates, according to local residents, is no easy task.

“One of the issues is they talk to the sheriff, they give people tickets, but they have no address to mail it to.” Clemens said. “They don’t show up to their court dates and that’s it.”

Sergeant Brian White told KOIN 6 News the Multnomah County Marine Deputies weren’t aware of issues in that area. Deputies did make contact with a man on Friday night after KOIN 6 News called. They said there wasn’t enough evidence to issue a citation tonight. but they are forwarding a report to the Coast Guard so a further, more thorough inspection can be made.

Regardless. local residents are noticing waste in the water. They hope it stops soon.

“People who don’t know what’s happening are jumping in it and swimming in it,” Legree said, “and it’s not cool.”