St. Mary sinking at Shaw Island

(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 Islands’ Oil Spill Association (IOSA) received a report of oil sheen near the Shaw Island ferry terminal. IOSA determined that the sheen came from the St. Mary. The St. Mary’s owner reported that the vessel sank with approximately 50 gallons of diesel fuel on board. 

Summary information

Date of incident: December 27, 2011 -
Location:

Blind Bay, Shaw Island, San Juan County, WA

(map)
Type of incident: Estimated 50 gal. of diesel on board. An unknown quantity of fuel is leaking from the vessel creating a sheen.
Cause of incident: Under investigation
Responsible party: Unknown

Status updates

December 30, 2011

The dive team successfully removed fuel remaining aboard the St. Mary, yesterday, recovering approximately 40 gallons of diesel fuel from the vessel. IOSA then removed the oil spill containment boom deployed around the vessel.

The owner has responsibility for any further salvage and recovery of the vessel.

December 29, 2011

This morning a dive team is working to stop the release of fuel from the vessel.

The Coast Guard has opened the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to hire a contractor – Ballard Diving and Salvage – to perform the work. Ballard’s dive team will remove fuel that remains on the vessel or plug openings to prevent further discharges. The Coast Guard is overseeing all of today’s activities.

IOSA continues to maintain containment boom around the site. Overnight, IOSA recovered an estimated seven gallons of diesel fuel in oil spill cleanup materials deployed inside the boom.

December 28, 2011

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), U.S. Coast Guard, and the Islands’ Oil Spill Association (IOSA) are working to contain oil leaking from a sunken vessel in Blind Bay on Shaw Island.

The crew of the IOSA vessel Sea Goose has encircled the submerged wooden 72-foot St. Mary with 700 feet of floating oil spill containment boom, as well as cleanup materials. The vessel rests 200 yards off the bay’s southwestern shore.

The St. Mary’s owner reported that the vessel sank with approximately 50 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

The sinking was first reported yesterday morning. Through the day, two assessments by IOSA and a Coast Guard helicopter flight over the scene confirmed that, initially, no oil was leaking from the vessel.

This morning, however, IOSA received a report of oil sheen – a thin oily coating on the water’s surface – near the Shaw Island ferry terminal. IOSA determined that the sheen came from the St. Mary, approximately less than a mile away.

Ecology and the Coast Guard are overseeing the response. The two agencies are working to arrange further efforts to stop the release of oil.

News releases

Media contact

Larry Altose, Media contact, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov, 206-920-2600, @