St Mary Sinking at Shaw Island

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.) 


Last updated December 30, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011 8:00 AM

The dive team successfully removed fuel remaining aboard the St. Mary, yesterday, recovering approximately 40 gallons of diesel fuel from the vessel. IOSA then removed the oil spill containment boom deployed around the vessel.

The owner has responsibility for any further salvage and recovery of the vessel.

Thursday, December 29, 2011 11:30 AM

This morning a dive team is working to stop the release of fuel from the vessel.

The Coast Guard has opened the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to hire a contractor – Ballard Diving and Salvage – to perform the work. Ballard’s dive team will remove fuel that remains on the vessel or plug openings to prevent further discharges. The Coast Guard is overseeing all of today’s activities.

IOSA continues to maintain containment boom around the site. Overnight, IOSA recovered an estimated seven gallons of diesel fuel in oil spill cleanup materials deployed inside the boom.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 1:32 PM

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), U.S. Coast Guard, and the Islands’ Oil Spill Association (IOSA) are working to contain oil leaking from a sunken vessel in Blind Bay on Shaw Island.

The crew of the IOSA vessel Sea Goose has encircled the submerged wooden 72-foot St. Mary with 700 feet of floating oil spill containment boom, as well as cleanup materials. The vessel rests 200 yards off the bay’s southwestern shore.

The St. Mary’s owner reported that the vessel sank with approximately 50 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

The sinking was first reported yesterday morning. Through the day, two assessments by IOSA and a Coast Guard helicopter flight over the scene confirmed that, initially, no oil was leaking from the vessel.

This morning, however, IOSA received a report of oil sheen – a thin oily coating on the water’s surface – near the Shaw Island ferry terminal. IOSA determined that the sheen came from the St. Mary, approximately less than a mile away.

Ecology and the Coast Guard are overseeing the response. The two agencies are working to arrange further efforts to stop the release of oil.





Photos taken by Ecology responder, Carl Andersen.

View from the top of IOSA vessel Sea Goose.

IOSA positioning boom with anchors.

Slight sheen by buoys coming off vessel.



Date of Incident:
December 27, 2011

Blind Bay, Shaw Island, San Juan County

Estimated 50 gal. of diesel on board. An unknown quantity of fuel is leaking from the vessel creating a sheen.

Under Investigation

Responsible Party:


WA Dept of Ecology
Larry Altose
cell: 206-920-2600
office: 425-649-7009


Dec 28, 2011