The large barge being built by the Ebel family, currently moored at Crab Harbor in Tillamook Bay, will have to move sometime after Jan. 1, the Headlight Herald was advised.

Sheriff Andy Long and Coast Guard Master Chief Michael Saindon visited the Ebels Thursday, Dec. 19. “The four of us talked a lot,” Long said. “It was a very frank discussion. They’re very nice people,” he said.

The purpose of the meeting was to make the Ebels aware of the Department of State Lands’ 30-day limit (Tillamook Bay’s submerged lands are under DSL’s jurisdiction) and also the permitting process for vessels and floating homes, Long said. “We were letting them know what the requirements are,” he said. A permit would likely not be granted, he said, because of the barge’s size. (It’s 40 feet by 80 feet.)

“We don’t have an official letter from the state yet,” Long advised. That’s expected some time around January 1. The letter is expected to give them some time to move if they haven’t yet, he said.

“We conveyed our serious concerns regarding safety of them and their family at the current location,” he said. “All four agreed they can’t stay where they’re at.” The vessel also can’t cross the bar, he said; it’s not seaworthy and would not survive the open ocean. The Coast Guard’s Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River, is planning on issuing a no bar crossing order, Long advised.

The family’s options are limited, Long conceded. “They may have to change their plans,” he said. “We’re letting them think things over.”

Reached by phone, Ed Ebel advised, “We’re still working on it.” They haven’t found a winter moorage yet. “We’re working with the sheriff and the coast Guard,” he said, but didn’t elaborate further.

“This is just the beginning of things,” Long said. “I think things will work out in the end.”

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