Boat-related fuel spills hit Lake Union and Jones Island

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard. A sheen can be seen near the 48-foot fishing vessel Gladstone that struck a rock near Jones Island.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard. A sheen can be seen near the 48-foot fishing vessel Gladstone that struck a rock near Jones Island.

Two damaged vessels dumped diesel fuel into Lake Union and the waters off Jones Island in separate incidents, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

In one incident, a 48-foot fishing vessel stuck a rock near Jones Island in the San Juans yesterday afternoon and started losing diesel. The vessel, Gladstone, had 900 gallons aboard, and salvage crews recovered about 700 gallons from the boat, according to the Coast Guard. A crew from TowBoatUS stopped the diesel leak and towed the boat to Deer Harbor for further repairs. Two nearby boaters rescued one person for the damaged vessel.

In the second incident, a 90-foot vessel moored at Lake Union Dry Dock spilled about 50 gallons of diesel into the water. Apparently, a cracked fuel tank dumped diesel into the boat’s bilge and eventually overboard.

“Ensuring the safety of the maritime environment, including responding to pollution incidents, is a core mission of the Coast Guard,” said Lt. j.g. Matthew Bolton, response officer, Sector Puget Sound Incident Management Division. “We take all reports of pollution very seriously and will work with our state and local partner agencies as well as professional organizations to ensure a proper response and cleanup.”

3 Responses to Boat-related fuel spills hit Lake Union and Jones Island

  1. Roger Slade July 20, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    Hello Marty et al.,

    Just want to elaborate a little on the incident with the Gladstone, a 48′ Grand Banks Woody out of Port Ludlow. The boat actually struck a submerged steel pipe ( watch out for that off Jones Island). A glancing blow snagged the port side stabilizer and ripped off about four feet of planking immediately flooding the engine room but not before the operator was able to move into shallower water where it came to rest on a rock.

    Our crew from TowBoatUS Port Hadlock (Timberwolf) worked tirelessly (altogether about 36 hours) with the crew from TowBoat US San Juan Islands to mitigate the pollution, conduct damage control, and raise the vessel before towing into Deer Harbor where the fuel was pumped off. I want to send out kudos to our crew of course but also to the rapid response from U.S. Coast Guard personnel at IMD, IOSA, and Global Diving for working with us to turn this whole incident into what turned out to be a minor spill of diesel fuel. Unfortunately, it looks like Gladstone is a constructive total loss. Gladstone now lies on the hard at North Harbor Diesel in Anacortes.

    Regards to you all.

    Roger Slade
    President, MAPH, Inc. (TowBoatUS Port Hadlock)

    • Andy Cross July 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

      Wow, thanks for all the great info, Roger. Also, well done by all involved to keep more diesel from going overboard.
      Cheers, Andy

      • Roger Slade July 21, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

        Thanks Andy. I just got some final statistics in. Global was able to pump off about 700 gallons. The amount of fuel recovered by means of sorbets, booms, and sweeps on-scene was 173 gallons. So it looks like the total unrecovered fuel was 20-30 gallons or perhaps less since the original 900 gallons was an estimate. It could have been far worse.

        Roger Slade

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