Coast Guard Oversees Clean Up of Oil Sheen

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The Coast Guard oversaw the cleanup of a small amount of oil released into the San Francisco Bay, today. The oil, which created a 500-yard sheen in the area west of Treasure Island, was released from an anchored tank vessel due to malfunctioning engine equipment. It is estimated that no more than 5 gallons of product entered the water.

The tank vessel, which had completed the offload of oil product at the Tesoro facility in Martinez, was not carrying any cargo onboard at the time of the incident.

At 7:30 a.m., the Coast Guard received notification that the crew of the India-flagged tank vessel “Abul Kalam Azad” had observed a sheen in the water around the vessel. They reported experiencing a malfunction with the salt water cooling system to their main diesel engine, and that they believed lube oil had contaminated the salt water discharge and entered the water. The crew immediately shut down this equipment to prevent the further release of oil into the water. The vessel had not experienced a collision of any kind, nor was there a breach of any part of the vessel’s hull.

The Coast Guard immediately launched crews from Coast Guard Station San Francisco. The 87-foot Patrol Boat Hawksbill also responded to the scene to enforce the safety zone around the vessel, and direct traffic around the affected area. An HH-65 “Dolphin” Helicopter was launched to assess the situation. Notifications to California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response, and California Office of Emergency Services were made. A boat from National Response Corporation, the agency contracted by the vessel to conduct clean-up, also responded by placing boom around the vessel as a precautionary measure.

By 12:40 p.m., no further evidence of an oil sheen was observed in the vicinity of Treasure Island, and Coast Guard surface assets stood down after determining that the vessel is secure. National Response Corporation will continue to survey the water around the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, and Marin County until sunset, today. Coast Guard Marine Inspectors are onboard the vessel, and will work with the crew to determine how the oil contaminated the cooling water system. The tank vessel will remain at anchor in the Bay until repairs are made to Coast Guard satisfaction.

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