According to the Washington Department of Ecology, diesel oil spilled from a 74-foot yacht on Tuesday, July 19th. Workers noticed oil on the water at approximately 6:30 a.m. on the morning of the spill, reported it to authorities, and deployed an oil spill containment boom.
“The amount spilled and the cause of the spill remain under investigation. and it appears that fuel leaked from at least one of four tanks on board into the vessel bilge, activating the bilge pump and discharging fuel overboard,” the Department of Ecology’s website states.
KOMO News reported that the fuel tanks had only just been filled on Monday, and by Tuesday morning they were completely empty. An estimated 630 gallons of diesel fuel had leaked into the water.
There was a strong odor of diesel, but vapors were monitored well below the level of risk for fire or explosion.
In addition to the State’s Department of Ecology, Seattle Public Utilities and the U.S. Coast Guard have formed a unified command to respond to and clean up the spill. “The owner has hired spill response contractors who are acting under the agencies’ oversight.”
Cleanup efforts included removal of the diesel from the surface of the water, as well as hand cleaning under docks and along the shoreline. Materials such as containment booms, oil-absorption materials, vacuum trucks, and other vessels, equipment and vehicles have been used to support efforts to clean up after the spill.
As of 5 p.m. on July 20th, the Department of Ecology reported that all oil that could be recovered from the water and shore structures had been removed. “Some sheen may be visible on the water, a layer of oil too thin to recover, that will dissipate in the next day or so… Ecology crews are assessing environmental effects. There have been no reports of oiled wildlife.”
Investigation as to the cause of the fuel spill continues.
Featured photo source: KomoNews.com