Sunday, May 27, 2012

Penn Cove salvage work continues, removal operations no sooner than May 30

By Curt Hart, Communications Manager, Spills Program

Federal, state, local agencies and private contractors are continuing to work through the Memorial Day weekend to raise and remove the sunken 140-foot fishing vessel, Deep Sea that continues to slowly leak oil into Penn Cove in Island County.

A multi-agency unified command has been created to plan and carry out emergency response operations. This effort currently involves the U.S. Coast Guard, Ecology, state DNR, Island County Department of Emergency Management, Global Diving & Salvage Inc and NRC-Environmental Services.

The Washington departments of Health and Fish and Wildlife and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also providing response support.

Ecology has set up a website for the incident at:

A diver’s-eye view of the outer hull of the Deep Sea, shot on May 23, 2012.

Status report

  • Global Diving & Salvage dive crews continue with preparations to lift the Deep Sea. When the vessel sank on May 13, it rolled and settled in 60-feet of water on its port (left) side. Divers discovered when the vessel rolled a tangle of debris fell off the main deck to the port side. They are encountering pieces of this debris buried in several feet of silt on the bottom of the cove.

  • Federal, state and private planners anticipate that operations to raise the Deep Sea will occur no sooner than Wednesday May 30.

  • Ecology has conducted daily aerial surveillance of the site. Responders have spotted a small but continuous thin coating of oil on the water’s surface inside the ring of containment boom on the water surface directly above the Deep Sea.

  • A total of 4,500 gallons of diesel fuel and other petroleum products have been removed from the vessel so far. The Deep Sea still contains an unknown quantity of oil and responders are taking precautions to protect the environment and shellfish resources when the vessel is lifted.

  • The Coast Guard has established a marine safety zone on waters within 200 yards of the Deep Sea. Vessels seeking to enter that zone must request permission from the Coast Guard’s Joint Harbor Operation Center at 206-217-6001 or from on-scene patrol craft on VHF radio channel 13.

  • There have been no reports of oiled fish, birds or mammals.

For more information:

Fishing Vessel Deep Sea Fire incident website:

Ecology Spills Program:

Ecology social media:

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