Department of Ecology News Release - June 8, 2011

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Grounded fishing vessel refloated in the San Juans

OLYMPIA – Aided by lightened fuel tanks and a high tide, the 50-foot commercial fishing vessel Ruby Lily refloated itself from Patos Island in the San Juans late evening June 7.

After it refloated, the Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) inspected it to ensure that the boat’s systems were operating and to check for fuel leaks.

The boat was expected to arrive in Anacortes this morning for any repairs and refueling.

The Ruby Lily ran aground on the south side of Patos Island at about 1:30 a.m. June 7. One person was on board the vessel, which sustained minor damage.

It was carrying nearly 4,500 gallons of fuel, but only leaked an estimated 1 gallon of fuel and oil during the incident.

Ecology and the Coast Guard responded to the scene and oversaw the removal of nearly 2,500 gallons of fuel from the Ruby Lily during the day. Containment boom was placed around the vessel as a preventive measure in the event of a fuel or oil release.

The Coast Guard initially hired a response contractor using the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The fund helps cover the costs associated with refloating, salvaging or cleaning up oil pollution.

The boat’s owner took over the costs of the response, hiring Global Diving and Salvage Co., Vessel Assist, and Islands' Oil Spill Association, a non-profit oil spill response organization that operates in the San Juans.

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Media Contact: Kim Schmanke, 360-407-6239 or kim.schmanke@ecy.wa.gov 

For more information, see Ecology’s spills program (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html)