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Unified Command responds to bunker spill after fishing vessel ran aground on Santa Cruz Island

16 Dec 2022

The US Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response and Santa Barbara County established a unified command to continue its response to the 60-foot fishing vessel that ran aground on Santa Cruz Island on Thursday (15 December), according to the US Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach watchstanders received a report from Vessel Assist Ventura that the fishing vessel Speranza Marie, a 60-foot fishing vessel with six people aboard and carrying roughly 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, ran aground in Chinese Harbor on Santa Cruz Island at approximately 2am.  

The Unified Command is creating a pollution mitigation and removal plan.   

“Cleanup crews are on-scene containing and recovering the diesel fuel. Diesel fuel is considered a non-persistent oil, compared to a heavier bunker [fuel] or crude oil product, in even the calmest sea conditions, as it will lose 40% of its volume due to evaporation within 48 hours in cold weather,” according to the US Coast Guard.  

No wildlife impacts have been reported/observed at this time, but crews are monitoring for them. Trained responders from OSPR have been put on standby and will be activated should they be needed.  

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.


Photo credit: US Coast Guard
Published: 16 December, 2022

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