Bulk Carrier Spills Fuel near Kalama, Wash.

By Eric Haun
Friday, February 19, 2016
Nord Auckland with bunker oil spilled down the vessel’s hull while anchored near Kalama, Wash., Feb. 18, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by William Russell)

Pollution cleanup efforts are underway after sheening was reported around the bulk carrier Nord Auckland anchored near Kalama, Thursday. 

The 610-foot Singapore-flagged vessel reportedly released bunker oil due to operator error that was intended to be burned in the incinerator, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Overseeing the response efforts are personnel from the Washington Department of Ecology and the Coast Guard, who said the responsible party has contracted Clean Rivers Cooperative to handle cleanup operations. Two booming vessels are on scene with crews engaged in cleanup operations.

The Coast Guard said its watchstanders received reports of sheening in the water from National Response Center personnel at 10:05 a.m., Thursday. Pollution response experts from the Incident Management Division, based at Marine Safety Unit Portland, Ore., arrived on scene at approximately 1 p.m.

Ecology staff participating in overflight surveillance Thursday afternoon observed a number of sheening trails downriver, as well as some oil near shorelines and near wildlife concentrations. Assessment teams will mobilize Friday to further investigate the extent of environmental impacts.

The incident remains under investigation.

  • A sheen in the water created by a bulk oil spill from bulk carrier Nord Auckland is, Feb 18, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by William Russell)

    A sheen in the water created by a bulk oil spill from bulk carrier Nord Auckland is, Feb 18, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by William Russell)

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