2022 August 15 14:23

Fishing vessel sinks off San Juan Island, oil sinks - U.S. Coast Guard

A 49-foot commercial fishing vessel carrying an estimated 2,600 gallons of diesel and oil sank off the coast of San Juan Island Saturday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

All five crew members onboard the Aleutian Isle were rescued by a good Samaritan, the Coast Guard said in a statement. Attention has since turned to the pollution impact of the incident, which happened west of Sunset Point.

Because of the incident’s proximity to the Canadian border, the Coast Guard was working with the Canadian Regional Operation Center as well as the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management, Washington State Department of Ecology, the Island Oil Spill Association and others.

An allocation of $130,000 for commercial pollution response and salvage operations was authorized by the National Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and contractors were working Sunday to minimize the impact to sensitive areas of the shoreline, according to the Coast Guard.

By Sunday morning, the Coast Guard was working to get a helicopter with pollution experts and members of the Coast Guard in the air for an updated survey of the visible sheen and the potential impact of the vessel sinking.