Status update for spill at Tacoma’s Trident Seafoods

TACOMA – Efforts will continue through the night to recover diesel fuel that spilled into Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway Monday evening.

The Coast Guard, Washington Department of Ecology and Trident Seafoods established a Unified Command to manage the response and cleanup efforts.

The 435-gallon spill occurred as a fishing vessel tied up to Trident Seafood’s dock conducted an internal tank-to-tank fuel transfer. As part of the seafood company’s policy, boom was already in place around the Bowfin. This helped limit the movement of diesel and confine the majority of it to the boomed area and beneath the pier.

About 123 gallons have been recovered so far.

An overflight conducted earlier today revealed some diesel sheen to the northwest of Pier 25. A skimmer and two workboats worked to control and remove as much diesel as possible from the water. As a precaution, the responding parties placed a protective boom around a sensitive habitat in the waterway and stand ready to place more if necessary tonight and tomorrow.

Work is underway tonight to recover the diesel that remains under the dock. Response contractors are unable to get beneath the dock due to a narrow space between the waterline and dock bottom. Instead, contractors are lowering absorbent pads through construction openings in the dock and gently swirling it to capture the fuel.

Tomorrow, they plan to flush the diesel from under the dock where it can be recovered with skimmers and more pads.

One more overflight is planned for early Wednesday morning to check for any sheen.

Early information indicates operator or mechanical error caused the spill, but a full investigation is still underway.

Quick facts:

  • Responsible Party – Trident Seafoods
  • Responding Agencies – Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology
  • Contractors – National Response Corporation Environmental Services; Marine Spills Response Corporation; Washington State Maritime Cooperative; Genwest; The O’Brien’s Group; Global Diving and Salvage


  • 435 gallons of diesel fuel spilled
  • 123 gallons recovered
  • 5800 feet of boom deployed around the spill area and sensitive area

Ecology’s Web site:

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