Largest private marina on West Coast located next to Pier 91

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by VANESSA VAN HYFTE / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 28, 2010 at 6:31 PM

SEATTLE -  A KING 5 investigation into the discovery of live ammunition under Pier 91 in Elliott Bay is creating waves.

According to sources, divers brought up World War II-era training ammunition ranging from 20-millimeter to 90-millimeter rounds in September. Some of the ammunition contained high explosive material.

The general manager of Elliott Bay Marina, which is 1,000 feet from Pier 91, says the Seattle Police Department closed the east entrance to the marina in April when the first round of discoveries was made.

"I just can't believe the ammunition was still there. The Navy used to station its ships in there for fleet week up until two years ago. Navy Seal divers went down there searching for bombs before the ships came in and they never found anything down there," said Dwight Jones.

Elliott Bay has 1,200 boats in its marina. It's the largest private marina on the West Coast.

Harbor Master Brian Kaloper says the ammunition at Pier 91 poses no risk for boaters at Elliott.

"Our marina was dredged 20 years ago when this was built. We have dozens of divers in the marina everyday working on boats and they've never seen anything here," he said.

Ron Smith has been in the boating industry for 35 years. He says there are always hazards on Puget Sound to be aware of. He says he's heard of boaters coming across old mines, but nothing like this.

"I think if it hasn't exploded yet, it's not going to. But if it's down there under a cruise ship, that's a concern. It will be interesting to see what happens," said Smith.

Travel expert Steve Danishek says the ammunition discovery could be a nightmare for the Port of Seattle.

"I don't want a bomb anywhere near a ship. That whole Pier was redesigned for the cruise ships. They can't just leave it there. No one would get on a ship if they knew that. That just wouldn't work," said Danishek.

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