Sunken Houseboat Leaking Oil in Half Moon Bay

Friday, May 28, 2010  |  Updated 3:45 PM PDT
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Sunken Houseboat Leaking Oil in Half Moon Bay

Jonathan Ferrey

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U.S. Coast Guard and state Department of Fish and Game's Office of  Spill Prevention and Response crews are returning to Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay today after a sunken houseboat began leaking diesel fuel  Thursday.

A fuel sheen was reported on the waters inside Pillar Point Harbor  at about 9 a.m. Thursday, according to the Coast Guard. The sheen is reportedly from a houseboat called "The Gypsy" that  sank while anchored at the harbor about six weeks ago, according to the Coast  Guard.

The boat sank in about 15 feet of water, and Coast Guard officials  determined at the time that it did not present any immediate or significant  threat to the environment after the owner said there was little fuel on board  except for 30 gallons of diesel fuel that appeared to be sealed in tanks.

After the sheen was spotted Thursday morning, about 200 feet of  containment and absorbent boom were deployed in the harbor to protect a  commercial abalone farm and nearby beaches. No shoreline or wildlife impact  from the oil had been reported as of this morning, according to the Coast  Guard.

Fish and Game officials planned to monitor the area for possible  impacts to birds and marine life in the area. Fishermen and shellfish harvesters have also been advised to avoid  fishing or harvesting from the shoreline inside the breakwater to Pillar  Point.

The salvage of the vessel was to be completed by the owner, but  because of the apparent leak, the Coast Guard has taken over the situation.

Parker Diving and Salvage, a Sausalito-based company, has been  brought in to assist in the removal, cleanup and salvage of the houseboat  today, according to the Coast Guard.

Bay City News
 

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