Cleanup and investigation of San Francisco Bay oil spill continues

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel continue to respond to a fuel spill that occurred near Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf in the San Francisco Bay Saturday.

At 10:56 a.m., Saturday, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco personnel received a report that an undetermined amount of fuel oil was discharged into the water from the SS Jeremiah O’Brien. Coast Guard Incident Management Division personnel immediately dispatched a pollution response Federal On-scene Coordinator’s Representative to confirm the report and assess on-scene conditions. Once on scene, the FOSCR confirmed that the source of the fuel spill was secured and verified the SS Jeremiah O’Brien contracted an Oil Spill Response Organization to deploy resources to recover the discharged fuel and prevent further environmental impact.

The Coast Guard federalized the pollution incident Sunday morning and assumed control of the clean up and containment processes to ensure maximum resources are utilized and to accelerate cleanup effort. The Coast Guard’s FOSCR is currently supervising the cleanup effort where a contracted Oil Spill Response Organization has deployed more than 6,000 feet of hard and absorbent boom around the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, Hyde Street Harbor and other environmentally sensitive areas.

The Coast Guard, in cooperation with officers from the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response, deployed two shoreline cleanup assessment teams to continuously monitor the shoreline from Pier 39 to Aquatic Park for oil sheens. The teams have not located any sheen in these areas and the cleanup continues to move in a positive direction.

Utilizing three fast response vessels with absorbent boom, sweeps, and pads, a ten-person crew from National Response Corporation Environmental Services continues to recover the sheen that is contained in Hyde Street Harbor. The Coast Guard will continue to supervise the cleanup until all sheen is recovered.

“We are very happy with the response from the Coast Guard” said Phil Erwin, National Parks Service, Aquatic Park chief of facilities. “Everyone is working hard to clean up the spill.”

Aquatic park will continue to be closed to swimmers as a precautionary measure until the cleanup is complete at Hyde Street Harbor.

The spill occurred during internal fuel transfer operations on board the SS Jeremiah O’Brien. The Coast Guard estimates 20 to 50 gallons of fuel oil was discharged over the port side of the vessel and into the water.

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