Coast Guard responds to grounded fishing vessel near Half Moon Bay

National Response Center LogoSAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard responded to a commercial fishing vessel grounded on shore near Half Moon Bay Friday night.

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center watchstanders were notified at 11:22 p.m. Friday from a 50-foot commercial fishing vessel that had run aground near Half Moon Bay seven miles south of Pillar Point Harbor.

A Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter crew launched from Air Station San Francisco to assist the distressed mariner, who later refused assistance from responders and insisted on remaining on the vessel throughout the night. The vessel’s reported 500 gallons of fuel onboard was transferred safety to storage tanks on land.

A Coast Guard Incident Management team dispatched at first daylight Saturday morning to assess the condition of the vessel and implement pollution mitigation strategies to protect the marine environment. Due to the vessel’s deteriorating condition and location in the surf zone, the Coast Guard accessed the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and instantly hired an oil spill response organization to remove the fuel from the vessel to reduce environmental threats.

“Not only are we dedicated to ensuring safety of life at sea, we are also stewards of our marine environment,” said Petty Officer Josh Lane, a Sector San Francisco pollution responder. “We use the oil spill liability trust fund to mitigate impacts to the marine environment from pollution threats”.

The Coast Guard investigates and responds to all threats of fuel spills and hazardous material releases occurring in the maritime environment. On-scene coordinators diligently worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California Fire, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the San Mateo Sherriff’s Office to ensure prompt and satisfactory mitigation of the pollution threat.

At 7 p.m., Parker Diving Service fully removed all fuel from the fishing vessel before they and Coast Guard personnel departed the scene. The vessel owner is coordinating with NOAA for the vessel’s salvage and removal from the National Marine Sanctuary.

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