Coast Guard responds to sunken vessel near La Push, Wash.

d13SEATTLE — Personnel from the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Incident Management department are responding to a report of a sunken vessel and diesel sheen near La Push, Thursday.

The local harbormaster placed boom around the site to contain any further pollution and the Coast Guard is currently en route to assist with the clean up. They are expected to arrive later this afternoon.

Sector Puget Sound watchstanders received a report from Coast Guard Station Quillayute River personnel stating that while they were doing a morning bar check, they noticed the 35-foot fishing vessel Nellie M sunk at the local marina.

“Thanks to the quick action of both Station Quillayute River crewmembers and the harbormaster, their efforts have mitigated the possible spread of pollution,” said Michael Mckiernan, the command duty officer at Sector Puget Sound. “The Coast Guard will continue to work proactively with the Washington Department of Ecology and local personnel to conduct an effective and timely response.”

The current amount of fuel spilled is unknown at this time, but a maximum potential of 600 gallons of diesel fuel is reportedly aboard the vessel.

As the area is a National Marine Sanctuary, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been notified. The cause of the sinking is under investigation.

La Push is the northwestern most point of Washington’s Pacific Coast beaches and lies within the Olympic National Park’s National Wildlife Refuge. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound located in Seattle has responsibility for Coast Guard pollution response in the region.

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