Coast Guard responds to pollution from sunken vessel near Grays Harbor

Coast Guard, National Response Center, and Washington State personnel responded to oil pollution from a sunken 67-foot commercial vessel at Marina near Grays Harbor, Sunday.

Responders from the Coast Guard Incident Management Division in Astoria are set to arrive on scene today and will be working with partner agencies to monitor the situation and oversee the cleanup.

After receiving a report of a possible sinking vessel at Westhaven Marina at about 12:40 Sunday afternoon, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders launched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor to assess the situation.

The commercial fishing vessel Persistence was found submerged at the pier, and a rainbow sheen was observed on the water. A containment boom was placed around the vessel to prevent the fuel from spreading.

The owner reported there is potentially 250 gallons of diesel and 15 gallons of oil onboard the vessel.

To ensure a safe and effective pollution response, Incident Management Division personnel accessed the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and are working to hire a vessel salvage company, to clean the pollution and remove the vessel.

“The Coast Guard’s job is to ensure that the source of the spill is secured and that cleanup is completed efficiently,” said Petty Officer 1st Class John Bennett, the watchstander who received the pollution report. “We will investigate the situation to hold the responsible party accountable.”

There have been no reports of affected wildlife.

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