Coast Guard responds to diesel fuel spill originating from Cutter Mackinaw

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CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard reported a diesel fuel discharge Tuesday afternoon from the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw while the ship was taking on fuel in the Detroit River in the vicinity of the Ambassador Bridge.

The crew immediately secured the source of fuel and conducted initial clean-up operations onboard. Crewmembers also deployed boom around the fuel to prevent further spread.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit pollution responders currently on scene estimate that 200-300 gallons entered the water.

The Coast Guard has contracted an oil spill removal organization to complete the clean up and has ordered various equipment, to include a vacuum truck and additional boom.

The cause of the discharge is under investigation.

The Mackinaw was cleared to depart the location of the incident due to a necessary ice-breaking operation.

“We take our role as environmental stewards seriously, and any accidental discharge of fuel is regrettable,” said Capt. Eric Johnson, chief of the Coast Guard 9th District Incident Management Branch.

“We are already at work mitigating any potential impacts and have begun our investigation of the actions that lead to the discharge so we can identify ways to prevent it from reoccurring.”

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