Coast Guard responds to vessel aground in Pacifica

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SAN FRANCISCO – Coast Guard crews are responding to a fishing vessel stranded in Shelter Cove.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center received a call at approximately 11:19 a.m. Friday from the operator of the adrift 28-foot fishing vessel Giaconda.

The Giaconda, with two persons aboard, reportedly ran out of fuel, causing the vessel to drift into Shelter Cove.

San Mateo County Sheriffs, Pacifica Police and Pacifica Fire Department were notified as well as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. All persons on the vessel safely came ashore. Due to the shallow cove and limited shoreside access, the vessel remains stranded in Shelter Cove.

Coast Guard crews are currently working with the vessel owners and pollution response and salvage contractors to assess any potential for pollution and to have the vessel removed from the area.

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco pollution responders are on scene and have accessed the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. An oil spill removal organization has been hired to conduct a pollution threat assessment and to remove any oil or remaining fuel product from the vessel’s reportedly empty fuel tanks. Currently approximately nine gallons of motor oil from spare containers and affected sand have been recovered.

Federal authorities allow the Coast Guard to respond to mariners in distress as well as respond to the pollution potential posed by adrift and stricken vessels. The vessel owner is ultimately responsible for mitigating any potential damage to the marine environment posed by the vessel and for the vessel’s timely removal.

In the case of abandoned vessels, state and local agencies provide valuable assistance in the salvage and timely removal of vessels and marine debris, where their authorities allow. The State of California has programs established through the Department of Boating and Waterways to facilitate the removal of abandoned vessels from the marine environment.

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