Friday, September 9, 2016

Coast Guard Mitigates Sunken Fishing Vessel

By Mark Edward Nero
US Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology personnel have completed pollution mitigation on a 77-foot fishing vessel that sank at the Westport, Oregon marina on Sept. 5, spilling thousands of gallons of fuel into the water.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River’s incident management division contracted Global Diving and Salvage to remove an estimated 4,000 gallons of diesel from the vessels fuel tanks, with the money coming from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Initial reports stated that there were about 1,000 gallons of fuel on board at the time of the sinking, but that proved not to be the case.

“We are pleased that we were able to recover 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel from this vessel and were able abate the pollution threat,” the Coast Guard’s federal on-scene coordinator representative, Chief Petty Officer Bradley Bennett, said. “We always respond to the maximum potential spill and not to the quoted amount on board for this exact reason.”

Watchstanders at Sector Columbia River received the report of the sunken vessel around 6:40 a.m. on Labor Day from members at Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor, who had verified the initial notification received from marina staff. Ecology and Port of Grays Harbors staff deployed oil spill containment boom and cleanup pads around the sunken vessel.

There were no reported injuries during the incident.

The fishing vessel’s owner and marina personnel will continue salvage efforts of the vessel, according to the Coast Guard.