F/V Privateer grounding

(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 F/V Privateer has sunk and is in breakers on the outer beach at Ocean Shores, just north of north jetty.

Summary information

Date of incident:  April 15, 2016

Ocean Shores, WA

Type of incident: 2,500 gallons of diesel/500 gallons of lube oil and 6 drums
Cause of incident: Under investigation
Responsible party: Unknown

Status updates

June 7, 2016

The Ocean Shores beach where the fishing vessel Privateer came aground and sank in the breakers April 15 is now nearly clear of the vessel. Crews finished deconstruction this morning.

Some the Privateer’s metal "skin" remains buried under sand. Crews used two excavators to remove as much the vessel as possible.

A small pile of metal parts and insulation material could not be removed before the incoming tide covered the work area. The contractor will return Wednesday to gather this material and remove machines and equipment used for the cleanup.

No fuel remained in the submerged, port-side tank. However, a light-to-medium sheen was generated from what is thought to be either lube oil or grease.

Ecology will continue to monitor the progress of the cleanup until the response is complete, possibly by this weekend.

This update includes new photos on Flickr.

June 6, 2016

Ecology was onsite in Ocean Shores over the weekend to help oversee the dismantling of the F/V Privateer. Because of the complexity of working in the surf, operations are being done only during low tides. There has been no major discharge of oil, but one of the fuel tanks has not been assessed. The plan is to maintain a presence until the pollution threat is controlled or removed.

June 2, 2016

The F/V Privateer remains grounded in Ocean Shores. Weather and tides have not provided a good window to salvage the vessel but a plan to remove the hull in pieces in place, is in the works. Global Diving is contracted to perform the salvage and hopes to begin as soon as Friday.

May 16, 2016

Due to stability concerns of the bluff above the rocks, the salvage team has opted not to pull the vessel as planned previously. The vessel is still rigged for pulling, but may have to be reconfigured to pull from a different direction, possibly using the stern for leverage.

The tides, currents, and swells are uncooperative for any attempt at salvage this week and minimal activity will occur.

May 12, 2016

Contractors connected pulley and cable rigging between the Privateer and two large bulldozers, one to anchor the rigging and one to pull the vessel to shore. The set-up nudged the Privateer a short distance while favorable tide conditions lasted. Crews will make another attempt to use this set-up on Thursday.

In case any fuel remains on board, contractors continue to implement measures to contain and recover spills. No sheen or odor were detected today.

Conditions did not allow for excavation needed to prepare for pulling the Privateer up the beach. As a result the bulldozers have been removed. Over approximately the next two days, contractor crews will set up and anchor heavy winches atop the bluff behind the beach and connect to cable still rigged to the vessel. A renewed pull attempt will follow.

Spill containment and recovery measures remain in place. The cooperating response agencies – Ecology, state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Parks, Ocean Shores Fire Department – appreciate the public’s ongoing cooperation with the marked safety zone around the response operation.

May 9, 2016

Sunday the contractor responding to the F/V Privateer salvage in Ocean Shores was finally able to board the vessel and begin preparing it for removal. Six five-gallon buckets and one small gas can of fuel were recovered and another estimated 10-20 gallons of lube oil spilled into the surf and is unrecoverable.

One 'tidal' (level is rising and dropping with the tide) tank was sampled and found to be mostly seawater with some residual diesel. Another inaccessible fuel tank remains on the vessel but buried in the sand - its condition is unknown.

Six eight-inch diameter sausage booms are in place to catch leaking fuel from the boat. This week Global Diving will rig the boat and attempt to pull it with bulldozers.

April 25, 2016

Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard continue to monitor the situation in Ocean Shores where the F/V Privateer remains grounded.

Due to safety concerns, gaining access to, defueling, and/or salvaging the vessel may is delayed until early May (6, 7, or 8) when tidal conditions are more favorable.

Since last week the diesel odor has lessened, along with the amount of boat debris being washed ashore.

April 20, 2016

The U.S. Coast Guard and Ecology are continuing to respond to the F/V Privateer, which is aground on the outer beach at Ocean Shores, just north of the north jetty. The vessel owner's spill response contractor/salvage company, Global Diving and Salvage, is still on scene picking up debris when it comes ashore. Periodic reports of diesel odors in the area north and east of the vessels location persist, but the odor is considered a nuisance only.

Estimates for the potential to be released remain the same - 2,500 gallons of diesel, 500 gallons of lube oil and six drums (including waste oil). One drum has been recovered so far. No estimate is available for the volume of oil that may have been spilled because of the inability to safely access the vessel.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Razor Clam Dig Information: In response to the scheduled razor clam dig Saturday, April 23,the Washington State Department of Health and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are currently assessing the need for a shellfish advisory to address potential impacts to razor clams from any released oil on the beaches. No decision has been made as of this report but information we be posted to this site as we receive it. The digs are scheduled to begin in the Mocrocks area early Saturday morning in Copalis and Mocrocks. Both areas are several miles north of the vessels location.

Accessing and salvaging the vessel remains dependent on improved sea conditions combined with a low-tide window. The Ocean Shores police and fire departments, along with State Parks, continue to assist responders with resources for staging equipment and crowd management.

April 18, 2016

Over the weekend the F/V Privateer remained grounded and shifted only slightly. The vessel remained intact, but as the surf attacks, its rigging, decking and equipment have began breaking off and washing ashore.

A strong diesel odor was reported Friday night through Saturday, but no sheen or oil has been observed on the beach. Choppy seas and a strong surf have made it unsafe for responders to access the vessel.

Crews have been cleaning up the debris onshore and the beach remains closed.

People are encouraged to avoid areas where they see or smell oil and follow these recommendations:
Avoid areas where oil can be seen or smelled. If you see or smell oil, leave the area.Avoid any direct skin contact with oil, oil-contaminated water and sediments. If any oil makes contact with your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.

Contact 911 if you spot oil on the beach in this area. Give a specific location. Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard are working with the owner’s representative on the response. Based on a report from the captain of the Privateer, 3,000 gallons of diesel and other oils were believed to be onboard at the time of its grounding. No estimate of the volume of oil released is available.

The Ocean Shores police and fire departments, State Parks and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife continue to assist with the response and cleanup.

When conditions allow safe access, the team will remove any remaining fuel, then attempt to pull the vessel on shore for salvage and removal.

April 16, 2016

Today the F/V Privateer remains aground, still intact although the hull is damaged and breached. It is estimated that 2,500 gallons of diesel, 500 gallons of lube/motor oil and 6 55-gallon drums (including waste oil) were on board. One drum has been recovered so far.

The cause of the incident is under investigation. There is no estimate for the volume of oil that may have been spilled.

The vessel owner has hired a spill response contractor/salvage company, Global Diving and Salvage.

The immediate plan is to wait for low tide this afternoon and, if safe, attempt to secure pump off the fuel tanks to prevent further loss of oil. Because it is not safe to approach the vessel from offshore, the longer range-plan is to attempt to pull the vessel from shore side up onto the beach.

The Ocean Shores police and fire departments, and State Parks, are assisting responders with resources for staging equipment and crowd management.

The vessel has shifted from bow in (front of the boat in the water) to broad side. Low tide was not low enough to allow safe access by Global Diving personnel to defuel and rig the vessel.
Safety is the first priority.

Some diesel odors are developing in the area, particularly to the north of the grounded vessel. No sheening has been reported on the beach.

The tides are not advantageous and likely will not be until several days from now, possibly until April 21. Ecology and the USCG will continue to monitor the situation and consult with the local fire, police and parks agencies closest to the scene.

April 15, 2016

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) rescued three persons from the F/V Privateer this afternoon in Grays Harbor. The vessel has sunk and is in breakers on the outer beach at Ocean Shores, just north of north jetty.

The vessel is reportedly 75 ft in length with a fuel capacity of 5,500 gals. The amount of fuel (presumably diesel) has not yet been determined.

The vessel owner is meeting with the USCG to make arrangements for response and possible salvage. The Grays Harbor Fire Dept. is monitoring for debris and fuel discharge (none reported at this time).

Ecology responders will be on scene Saturday morning to participate in the response.

Media contact

Ty Keltner, Media contact, Ty.Keltner@ecy.wa.gov, 360-407-6990

US Coast Guard
Levi Read