SS Jeremiah O'Brien spills fuel in San Francisco

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

(SAN FRANCISCO) (Sept. 21) — The Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel continue to respond to a fuel spill that occurred near Pier 45 at Fisherman's Wharf in the San Francisco Bay on Saturday.

At 10:56 a.m. Saturday, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco personnel received a report that an undetermined amount of fuel oil was discharged into the water from the SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Coast Guard Incident Management Division personnel immediately dispatched a pollution response federal on-scene coordinator's representative to confirm the report and assess on-scene conditions. Once on scene, the FOSCR confirmed the source of the fuel spill had been secured, and the SS Jeremiah O'Brien contracted an oil spill response organization to deploy resources to recover the discharged fuel and prevent further environmental impact.

A Coast Guard Station Golden Gate boat crew and an Air Station San Francisco helicopter air crew conducted multiple patrols of the waterway near Pier 45 Sunday, for any sign of pollution; none were discovered. Additionally, three Coast Guard pollution response teams conducted thorough shoreline assessments around the adjacent marinas and harbors. The response teams located light sheening from an oil product around the docks within Hyde Street Harbor and immediately dispatched resources to contain and cleanup the identified sheens.

The Coast Guard federalized the pollution incident and assumed control of the clean up and containment processes to ensure maximum resources are utilized to accelerate the containment and cleanup effort. The Coast Guard's FOSCR is currently supervising the cleanup effort where a contracted oil spill response organization has deployed more than 6,000 feet of hard and absorbent boom around the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, Hyde Street Harbor and other environmentally sensitive areas.

The Coast Guard and California Fish and Wildlife will continue to conduct shoreline patrols of the adjacent harbors and marinas until the cleanup efforts are complete to ensure the safety of the marine environment and the public.

"The Coast Guard is committed to safeguarding the marine environment and has taken quick action to intervene and minimize the effects of the fuel spill caused by the SS Jeremiah O'Brien," said Capt. Michael Day, Sector San Francisco deputy commander. "Our crews will work diligently alongside our partner agencies to ensure the fuel is cleaned from the water in an efficient and expeditious manner."

The cause of the fuel spill is still under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff