Coast Guard Responding to Fuel Spill from Sunken Fishing Boat on Washington & Oregon Coast

December 7, 2015 Updated: December 7, 2015
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The U.S. Coast Guard is working to stop a fuel spill that has spread to Astoria, Oregon. 

A  67-foot-long commercial fishing boat called the Persistence was sinking at its pier at the Westhaven Marina in Westport, Washington. It is the source of the oil spill.

According to the Daily Astorian newspaper, the Coast Guard sent out a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Grays Harbor to look at the situation. The Persistence was found submerged at the pier.

Officials told The Associated Press it had released potentially 250 gallons of diesel fuel and 15 gallons of oil on Sunday.

There have been no reports of affected wildlife, the Daily Astorian newspaper added.

The Coast Guard placed a boom around the ship after a rainbow sheen that appeared to look like oil was spotted in the water.

“The Coast Guard’s job is to ensure that the source of the spill is secured and that cleanup is completed efficiently,” Petty Officer 1st Class John Bennett told the paper. “We will investigate the situation to hold the responsible party accountable.”

According to Conserve-Energy-Future, oil “floats on water and prevents sunlight to pass through it” and the shiny substance one sees “sometimes on top layer of water is nothing but oil which makes it difficult for plants and sea animals to survive.”