Research vessel spills diesel in Seattle

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

(SEATTLE) — Federal, state and local agencies have responded to and are cleaning up a diesel spill in Portage Bay in Seattle on Monday afternoon.

Responders from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Incident Management Division, Washington Department of Ecology, University of Washington and contracted response companies are on scene and are placing absorbent materials to soak up an estimated 100 gallons of red-dye diesel.

Personnel at Sector Puget Sound received an oil spill report from the National Response Center (NRC) at 11:41 a.m., reporting a diesel spill involving Rachel Carson, a 135-foot research vessel owned and operated by the University of Washington. The spill reportedly occurred during an internal tank-to-tank transfer.

The vessel owners, following the Northwest Area Contingency Plan, began the response by making the NRC report, deploying boom and hiring cleanup contractors. The Marine Spill Response Corp., Global Diving and Salvage and O'Brien's Response Management were hired to conduct recovery operations. Containment and absorbent boom is currently surrounding the spill and is not impeding vessel traffic. Absorbent pads, a vacuum truck and skimmers are aiding in fuel recovery. 

The Coast Guard’s federal on scene coordinator–representative will oversee the cleanup and work with state partners at the Department of Ecology and University of Washington as the spill response continues.

By Professional Mariner Staff