Quarter Master Harbor oil sheen

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)

The Washington departments of Ecology and Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard, and Vashon Island Fire & Rescue have been responding to reports of a slick of black oil reported at Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island. A state-sponsored helicopter over flight and a boat team crew did spot about one gallon of non-recoverable oil sheen which contained some dark flecks on the water in the harbor. The boat team took samples for further analysis.

Summary information

Date of incident: November 7, 2010 -
Location:

Quarter Master Harbor, Vashon Island, WA

(map)
Type of incident: Oil sheen
Cause of incident: Under investigation
Responsible party: Unknown
Ariel photo of the Quarter Master Harbor oil sheen

Ariel photo of the Quarter Master Harbor oil sheen.

Status updates

November 9, 2010

Ecology received lab results that indicates there is no petroleum in the samples taken on Saturday. The black substance has been transferred to biologists to look for specific organisms, but the initial guess is that this is a fall die off of some type of algae, possibly diatoms.

November 6, 2010

The Washington departments of Ecology and Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard, and Vashon Island Fire & Rescue have been responding this afternoon to reports of a slick of black oil reported this afternoon at Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island in King County.

Federal, state, and local responders and investigators did not find any signs of black oil along the shoreline. However, a state-sponsored helicopter over flight and a boat team crew did spot about one gallon of non-recoverable oil sheen which contained some dark flecks on the water in the harbor.

The boat team took samples for further analysis.

The Washington State Ferry Rhododendron diverted its 1:50 p.m. run from Point Defiance to Tahlequah slightly while passengers and crew tried to see if any oil was in Commencement Bay. None was seen.

A tug from Crowley Maritime Services also helped with response efforts by checking if they could spot any oil outside the harbor. Again, no oil was sighted.

Responders also discovered a heavy, soot-like substance that was not oil congregating in wind rows on the water in Commencement Bay. The material was unrecoverable.

News releases

Media contact

Curt Hart, Media contact, curt.hart@ecy.wa.gov, 360-480-7908, @