Environment News Service (ENS)

Boat Fire Spills Oil in Washington`s Gig Harbor

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Source: Environment News Service (ENS)

GIG HARBOR, Washington (ENS) - The Washington state Department of Ecology, the U.S. Coast Guard and others are responding to an oil spill at the Peninsula Yacht Basin Marina in Gig Harbor.

A boat fire was reported to Ecology at 9:30 pm on Monday night. State and federal authorities immediately dispatched investigators and responders to find the 46 foot pleasure craft X-TA-SEA on fire.

The vessel had about 200 gallons of diesel on board. An unknown amount has spilled into the water. The City of Gig Harbor placed hard boom around the marina. Absorbent pads are also being used to recover the diesel oil. Diesel oil has been reported outside the boom.

The owner of the vessel hired Global Diving and Salvage Company who is on scene and working cooperatively with state and federal responders. Ecology and Coast Guard will conduct a helicopter flyover as soon as weather permits.

Oil spilled into the water forms oily patches that spread out quickly. Such oil slicks can cover many acres of surface water. Ecology is monitoring for oil visible in surrounding water and shorelines inside Gig Harbor.

Ecology, The City of Gig Harbor, and the Coast Guard are working together to ensure that the spilled diesel oil is recovered and to protect the marine environment.

In the summer of 2005, Gig Harbor became the first local government in the state to receive mobile fast-strike oil spill response equipment, allowing local first responders to attack a spill as soon as it is detected rather than waiting for a federal or state response.

As a result of a supplemental appropriation by the Legislature and Governor Chris Gregoire in 2006, Ecology is delivering mobile spill response equipment to fire departments, ports, tribes and other local responders in 60 critical locations around the state.

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