Coast Guard responding to tar balls and oil sheen off Rockaway, NY

Coast Guard Sector New York LogoNEW YORK— The U.S. Coast Guard, along with partner agencies, are responding to reports of oil sheen and tar balls, on the ocean side of Coney Island and Long Island, from Norton Point to Atlantic Beach.

Responders are assessing both shoreline and waterway impact, and investigating to determine the source and cause of the condition, including a possible connection to Thursday’s fuel-oil leak involving the motor vessel Dublin Express in the Arthur Kill waterway.

The Dublin Express suffered a 15-inch hole in one of its fuel tanks prior to arriving to New York. The damaged tank has the capacity to carry approximately 300,000 gallons fuel-oil. The cause of the damage and the amount of fuel oil spilled have not been determined and remain under investigation.

Coast Guard Sector New York received initial reports of tar balls in the vicinity of Jacobs Riis Park from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The New York Police Department aviation division conducted an overflight of the area Saturday afternoon.

Crews from U.S. Coast Guard Sector New York, the Atlantic Strike Team, as wells as members of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are responding to the incident.

“I’d like to assure the community that the Coast Guard and our partner agencies are working as quickly as possible to ensure a thorough clean-up, determine the source of the spill, and hold the responsible party accountable,” said Capt. Jason Tama, commander Sector New York, and Federal On-Scene Coordinator. “Our immediate priorities are to ensure the safety of the public, protection of wildlife, and the environment.”

Beach goers and waterway users are advised to avoid contact with the tar balls, or other oiled material. Anyone who notices any tar balls or sheen is asked to report their findings to the Sector New York Command Center at 718-354-4353.

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