Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie continues to oversee the cleanup of oil and the salvage of a sunken 33 foot towing vessel in Northport Bay, MI.
Yesterday morning, the Coast Guard responded to a report of an oil sheen near the recently sunken towing vessel Rawhide, in Northport Bay. Pollution responders oversaw the placement of containment boom around the vessel. A Coast Guard helicopter reported to the scene to conduct an overflight. The sunken vessel appears to be the source of the oil sheen.
Today, Coast Guard pollution responders oversaw the replacement of absorbent containment boom, as the previous boom became soiled with oil that appears to be leaking from the sunken vessel. This morning, a stream of oil was present outside of the boom, but has dissipated due to weather and wave action. Due to adverse weather conditions, the owner of the vessel was unable to safely commence salvage work and oil cleanup; they plan to start this work when the weather becomes favorable. The Coast Guard will continue to closely monitor the owner’s actions to ensure an effective response.
The Coast Guard obtained access to the Oil Liability Trust fund, which provides an immediate source of funds for federal response. This funding can be used by the Coast Guard if the owner of the vessel does not meet their obligation to respond to the release of a hazardous material in an effective manner. Pollution responders continue to endeavor to work with the owner of the vessel to determine the maximum potential pollution release. The cause of the sinking of the towing vessel Rawhide is under investigation.
Local emergency managers are notified of the sunken vessel and the oil sheen. Anyone that has been adversely affected by an oil spill can contact the National Pollution Fund Center claims number at 1-800-280-7118.