Response crews address pollution issues from abandoned fishing vessel near Seattle

WARRENTON, Ore. — Pollution response crews from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, in Seattle, continue to oversee the mitigation of potential pollution from a presumed abandoned fishing vessel near the Ballard Locks in Seattle, Thursday.

The Coast Guard has contracted Global Diving and Salvage to address more than 12 feet of oily water found in the engine room of the 133-foot, steel-hulled fishing vessel Crest.

The Coast Guard received notification around 3 p.m., Wednesday, that the Crest, located at the Ballard Oil Company Marina, may be taking on water and in danger of sinking.

Contracted crews removed more than 7,200 gallons of the oily water mixture from the vessel on Wednesday and 2,500 gallons Thursday. A diver survey conducted Wednesday revealed no signs of damage to the hull of the vessel.

The plan is to continue to dewater the vessel, address any found sources of pollution and monitor the vessel to determine if it is taking on water. It is possible that the water in the vessel has accumulated over the years from rain and snow, but crews cannot ensure the vessel’s safety until the response and monitoring are completed.

The Coast Guard has opened funding for the response through the Oil Pollution Liability Trust Fund. The vessels owner is unknown at this time. However, if a responsible party can be located, they will be responsible for reimbursing the trust fund.

Coast Guard crews have briefed the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Department of Natural Resources and will work with both agencies as needed to ensure a proper response.

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