OCEAN SHORES, Wash.— The Coast Guard advised beachgoers Saturday to stay clear of the wreckage from the 74-foot fishing vessel Privateer that washed ashore after taking on water and partially sinking near Grays Harbor Friday night.
Although no pollution has been reported, cleanup coordinators caution the public to avoid contact with any diesel fuel around the vessel or on the beach until the ship is defueled and salvaged, which may take several days.
“Our first priority is to get cleanup operations going as fast as possible to prevent environmental impact,” said Chief Petty Officer Bradley Bennett, the federal on-scene coordinator for the cleanup. “Until that’s done, we ask everybody in the area to stay clear of the wreckage and any possible pollution that might surface.”
Personnel from Coast Guard Incident Management Division Astoria, Oregon, and Washington Dept. of Ecology worked together during low tide Saturday to assess the wreckage. Response crews are looking at all options to safely defuel and salvage the vessel, but efforts have been impeded due to the Privateer’s location in shallow water about 100 yards from shore.
Privateer’s owner reported the vessel had a maximum capacity of 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The smell of diesel has been reported in the area, but no sheen has been sighted.
Anybody who observes pollution around the vessel or on the beach should report it to the Washington Dept. of Ecology here: http://ift.tt/1r4Rm5x.
For updates about the cleanup efforts, visit: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/