The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(SEATTLE) (Oct. 13) — The Coast Guard, Washington State Department of Ecology and Global Diving & Salvage are scheduled to remove petroleum products from the tug Vigorous at Ballard Oil in the Lake Washington Ship Canal on Tuesday.
The Coast Guard Incident Management Division from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received notification Thursday of a possible sinking and presumably derelict vessel after Ballard Oil personnel noticed the tug was sitting abnormally low in the water.
Sector Puget Sound IMD crewmembers conducted a pollution assessment of the vessel and found a significant amount of oily water in the engine room. However, the vessel was determined not to be in danger of sinking. Containment boom was placed around the vessel.
"Our first priority is to remove all of the hazardous materials from the vessel," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Debrum, marine science technician with the IMD. "Doing so will prevent any pollutants from leaving the vessel and decrease the risk of any harm coming to the environment."
The Vigorous has an estimated 20,000 gallons of oily bilge waste and an unknown amount of product in the fuel tanks.
Coast Guard personnel were unable to contact the owner of the vessel. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is being utilized to cover all costs associated with recovery efforts.