WESTPORT — A sunken vessel in Westhaven Marina no longer poses and environmental risk after Coast Guard personnel removed 500 gallons of oil and water form the vessel’s tanks Monday.
A report of a sinking vessel was received Sunday afternoon, and a vessel from the Gray’s Harbor Coast Guard station was launched in response, according to a Coast Guard news release. It’s not yet known what caused the 67-foot commercial fishing vessel Persistence to sink, said Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Levi Read.
Personnel from the Coast Guard National Response Center and the Department of Ecology responded to the report, the release said. The marina is located just inside Grays Harbor, about five miles north of Pacific County.
The owner of Persistence reported that there were potentially 250 gallons of diesel and 15 gallons of oil on board, according to the release. When they arrived to find the vessel submerged at the pier, responders observed a sheen on the water, and placed a containment boom around Persistence to prevent any oil from spreading.
The fuel tanks on the vessel weren’t punctured, and were emptied to prevent any oil from potentially spreading into the water, Read said.
“Right now our main thought process is the mitigation of any pollution and getting that thing up off the bottom,” he said.
Even with the tanks empty, the Coast Guard will leave the boom around the vessel to prevent any residual oil from spreading, he added.
The investigation will be ongoing, he added, and the Coast Guard will work with the owner to determine what caused the boat to sink. It will be up to the owner to raise the vessel, Read said.
The severe weather over the weekend didn’t have an affect on the cleanup process, said Sarah Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard.
As of Monday night there have been no reports of wildlife injured as a result of the spill, Read said.