Department of Ecology News Release - April 1, 2024

Washington Department of Ecology and Coast Guard respond to sunken vessel in Lake Union


Department of Ecology logo, shaped like state of Washington with blue sky, green hills and dark blue water next to US coast guard logo with two crossed anchors outlined in blue
The Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology continue their response Monday to a sunken tugboat in Lake Union in Seattle, Washington.

The vessel, a tugboat converted into a residence, partially sank Saturday afternoon.

Red-dyed diesel escaped from the vessel into Lake Union. There were reportedly no people aboard the vessel at the time of the sinking.

Responders from the City of Seattle and the Washington Department of Ecology placed boom around the vessel to contain the spill. A response contractor was hired to clean up the spill and salvage the vessel. Contractors have pumped off 400 gallons of oily water from the vessel’s tanks and cabin and removed fuel from inside the boom surrounding the vessel as well.

Professional wildlife response efforts are underway. Responders with Focus Wildlife have found several oiled birds and are taking steps to recover those animals for treatment. Responders are on scene assessing further risk to animals in the area. If you see oiled wildlife, report it at 1-800-22BIRDS. Do not to attempt to rescue oiled birds or other wildlife on your own.

Oil spill responders are investigating sheens reported in other parts of Lake Union. Anyone may report a spill or potential spilled material to 1-800-OILS-911.

For further questions on this incident, contact the Department of Ecology at (360) 515-6868.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Contact information

Ty Keltner
Twitter: ecyseattle