Clean up of oil products continues following N.C. marina fire

WASHINGTON, N.C. — Contractors with Eastern Environmental Management pick up absorbent pads full of diesel fuel, gasoline and lubrication products at McCotters Marina on Saturday morning. The petroleum products were released into Broad Creek following a fire at the marina early Friday morning, leaving a light sheen and debris that have been isolated by the containment boom behind the contractors. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class John D. Miller.

Contractors with Eastern Environmental Management pick up absorbent pads full of diesel fuel, gasoline and lubrication products at McCotters Marina on Saturday morning. USCG Photo

WASHINGTON, N.C. — Coast Guard personnel remained on scene at McCotters Marina through the weekend to supervise clean-up efforts of petroleum products that leaked into Broad Creek following a fire there early Friday morning.

Twenty-six vessels burned to the waterline, releasing diesel fuel, gasoline and lubrication fluids into the water.

The amount of petroleum products released remains unknown and has left a sheen on the water surrounding the marina. Containment boom deployed around the site has isolated the pollution, and contractors from Eastern Environmental Management placed absorbent pads within the boom to capture concentrations of the products. Workers also collected oily debris floating in the water.

As of Sunday night, 63 barrels of soiled absorbent pads and debris were recovered.

“We’re making strong headway right now,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Ouyoumjian, a marine science technician assigned to Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “Removing the oiled debris will also reduce the amount of sheen on the water.”

Ouyoumjian added that the area enclosed by the boom has been safely reduced to just the affected docks at McCotters Marina in order to concentrate the clean-up operations and to minimize inconvenience to neighboring facilities.

It is not known when the clean up will be completed. Expected inclement weather, including snow and sleet, may affect the recovery operations, which involve working on docks and in small boats.

“Weather poses a challenge,” said Ouyoumjian. “We must balance quickly cleaning up Broad Creek with the safety of our personnel, and we do not want to put people’s lives in danger in those types of conditions.”

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