Bunker oil spills from bulk carrier in Washington

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The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SEATTLE) — Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology personnel are overseeing pollution cleanup after sheening was reported around the bulk carrier Nord Auckland anchored near Kalama on Thursday.

The responsible party contracted Clean Rivers Cooperative, which has two booming vessels on scene with crews engaged in cleanup operations.

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received reports of sheening in the water from National Response Center personnel at 10:05 a.m. Pollution response experts from the Incident Management Division, based at Marine Safety Unit Portland, Ore., arrived on scene at approximately 1 p.m.

Ecology staff participated in an overflight surveillance Thursday afternoon and observed a number of sheening trails downriver. Some oil was observed near shorelines and near wildlife concentrations. Their assessment teams will mobilize tomorrow morning to further investigate the extent of environmental impacts.

Reportedly, the 610-foot Singapore-flagged vessel released bunker oil due to operator error that was intended to be burned in the incinerator.

The incident is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff