Coast Guard and Ecology Crews Respond to Fuel Spill Near San Juan Island

WASHINGTON — U.S. Coast Guard and state ecology crews continued work Monday to clean up a diesel and oil spill after a fishing boat sank Saturday night off the island from San Juan. Coast Guard officials established a unified command Sunday morning and coordinated a response to reach the sunken “Aleutian Island” near Sunset Point.

Officials said there was a splinter visible for more than two miles and the vessel may have passed through Canadian waters. At the time of its sinking, officials said the vessel was carrying 2,500 gallons of diesel and 100 gallons of hydraulic fluid and lubricating oil.

The Coast Guard deployed crews alongside the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Whale Museum and Sound Watch to monitor the area overnight for marine mammals, including southern resident killer whales. Fortunately, officials said no southern residents appeared to be in close proximity to the pollution area.

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A Coast Guard remained on site to direct vessels into the area, while commercial divers and salvage teams work to contain and recover pollutants. Coast Guard officials said the Aleutian Island was about 100 feet below the surface.

In updates shared late Monday morning, the Coast Guard shared drone footage of the spill area and said more than 2,100 feet of absorbent boom had been deployed to help capture oil from the surface of the ship. ‘water. Dive crews continued to work to secure the vents and drain the ship’s remaining fuel into a tank.

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Readers can find updates on the containment effort through the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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