Tug sinks in Hood Canal

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology are jointly coordinating the response to a fuel sheen located near Port Gamble, Wash. Coast Guard and Ecology experts are tracking the spill by helicopter to better assess the situation. Pollution investigators from Coast Guard Sector Seattle and the Department of Ecology arrived on-scene earlier this morning and began the investigation into the sheen. The 140-ft. tugboat Magic sank near the entrance to Port Gamble and is the apparent source of the spill. Oil is no longer is flowing from the vessel. The Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to enable clean-up efforts to begin without delay. Contractors are placing boom at pre-identified sensitive areas along northern Hood Canal. Oil has come ashore along the Port Gamble town waterfront and Ecology shoreline assessment teams are surveying the impacts. Teams also are following up on reports of shoreline affected on the east side of the harbor. The sheen of oil that spread into Hood Canal is unrecoverable and is expected to evaporate. Some oil floating near the town may be recoverable and local crews have deployed boom in that area. An estimate of the amount of oil spilled has not been completed.

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