By Mark Edward Nero
One boat sank, two were partially submerged and another two were damaged when a fire broke out at Tyee Marina in Tacoma, Wash. the morning of Oct. 2. The US Coast Guard, Washington Department of Ecology and Tacoma Fire and Police Department personnel all responded to the incident.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Command Center in Seattle were notified of the fire and potential pollution threat at about 8 a.m. Pollution responders from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound and the Department of Ecology, as well as National Response Corp. Environmental Services personnel, placed containment boom inside the marina and around the one boat that sank, two that partially sank and the two others that were damaged.
The five boats were all 25 feet long or smaller. Four had gasoline powered outboard engines, according to the Coast Guard.
The maximum potential fuel spilled is 100 gallons, according to the federal on-scene coordinator representative, USCG Lt. J.G. Madeline Ede, who added that the various agencies are partnering to mitigate the pollution threat caused by the fire.
Containment boom, absorbent boom and pads have been placed in the water to absorb as much fuel as possible, according to the USCG.
The owners of the vessels and their insurance companies will be responsible for salvaging the boats.
Shawn Zaniewski, the Department of Ecology’s lead spill responder said the Tacoma Fire Dept.’s quick response was pivotal, due to the department having grant-purchased spill response equipment available to immediately contain the spill and reduce environmental damage.
Divers from the Tacoma Police Department also responded by supplying divers to confirm safety of life.