Beach Drive sinking/spill update: Vessel-raising tomorrow

An evening update from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding the sunken 75-foot workboat that left a sheen on the water off Beach Drive, with some of the oil reaching the shore, as reported in our daylong as-it-unfolded coverage:

Oil containment boom and oil skimming equipment are working well to contain and recover the diesel fuel and oil spilled by the sunken vessel Justin, which sank Friday morning off of the west side of West Seattle.

Shoreline clean-up and containment crews are using absorbent pads to mitigate a very small part of the spill that reached the beach near Lowman Beach Park in West Seattle. Shore-side response crews have deployed boom along the shoreline in the waters just of the beach near the incident site in an effort to prevent further shore impact.

Two miles of impacted shoreline have been surveyed. A majority of the shoreline impact is very light which makes clean-up efforts ineffective and may actually cause more harm than good. However, shoreline clean-up crews have identified areas on the beach with pockets of oil and clean up operations are underway in these areas.

An Incident Command Post has been established at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound that includes representative from the Washington Department of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard, and representatives from the responsible party.

The Incident Commanders have set the following objectives:

*Secure the source of the spill
*Stabilize the sunken vessel
*Remove as much oil as possible from the water
*Stabilize the barge
*Salvage the sunken vessel
*Monitor shoreline impact and deploy mitigation equipment as necessary.

The spilled product that remains on the surface of the water is expected to dissipate. Salvage operations will continue throughout the evening with divers focusing on plugging fuel vents securing the spill source. A 150-ton crane barge is being mobilized to be used to lift the vessel from the bottom early tomorrow during daylight.

A 500 yard safety zone is still in effect around the spill site. Mariners are reminded to stay clear of the Safety Zone until it is cancelled. The public is reminded to avoid contact with any of the spilled fuel or oil in the water or any fuel or oil that may reach the beach. If anyone discovers diesel fuel or oil on the beach, they should report it to the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound at 206-217-6001/2

We’ll be checking back through the evening and will add any new developments; Beach Drive Blog has been updating all day too.

3 Replies to "Beach Drive sinking/spill update: Vessel-raising tomorrow"

  • see.what.sealions.start October 15, 2011 (8:36 am)

    Reading through yesterday’s comments…Whether it is 50, 500, 5,000 gallons it is toxic to the marine life in the spill and slick areas. Are humans guilty of polluting everyday, yes, but how is that an argument against showing a natural concern over any incident and concern for whatever amount of life is affected? In and of itself, this is a mess that will do some amount of harm. I like that some people can express care.

  • Sandy Adams October 15, 2011 (10:02 am)

    I may have missed it, but don’t recall any mention of how this happened in the first place–was the ship improperly loaded, did the load shift somehow or what…do we know?

    • WSB October 15, 2011 (11:20 am)

      No official word on that.

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