August 11, 2011
The Washington Department of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard and Port of Bellingham are overseeing efforts to prevent a diesel fuel spill from a sunken fishing boat at Squalicum Harbor Marina on Bellingham Bay.
The 50-foot vessel Norman B went to the bottom at its mooring before 7 a.m. today. The cause of the sinking remains under investigation. The Norman B’s owner has hired a contractor to remove an estimated 200-300 gallons of diesel fuel aboard the boat. The incoming tide has reached the fuel tank vents, and the vessel is now mostly submerged. One of the vessel's fuel tanks has been emptied so far.
The contactor will later raise the vessel.
Port responders quickly surrounded the boat with oil-spill containment boom and cleanup materials from an Ecology spill-response equipment trailer kept at the marina. A small release of diesel fuel has formed sheen within the boomed area.
The contractor safely completed the removal of fuel from Norman B’s two tanks. Crews were not able to access other fluids on board, such as hydraulic and lubricating oil. Boom and cleanup materials remain in place surrounding the vessel. About 20 gallons of oily material has been recovered from the boomed area. The vessel’s owner is making arrangements to raise and recover the boat. Ecology and the Coast Guard will continue to monitor that process.