Fuel spills from sunken boat

Firefighters respond to fuel and oil spill in Cooper Cove

The Sooke fire department responded to a fuel spill from a sunken boat in Cooper Cove around 11:30 a.m. last Wednesday.

Although the commercial vessel, moored near the Goodridge Peninsula, released fuel and other contaminants into the ocean, it was not enough to warrant a clean up.

“The Ministry of Environment along with the Coast Guard Spill Response Unit attended the scene and determined that there was minimal fuel leaking and not of sufficient quantity to require clean up efforts,” Fire Chief Steve Sorensen said via email.

He added the fire department set up booms around one area of the beach which seemed to contain a majority of the fuel spill.

Firefighters — who obtained a boat ride from a local fisherman —  also evaluated areas surrounding the sunken boat and determined that ocean waves were dispersing the leaked fuel.

Sorensen said there was approximately 100 litres of fuel on board and about 50 litres of hydraulic fluid, among other oils, in the engine. The fuel that was surfacing was evaporating within 20 feet of the boat.

The removal of the 42-foot long boat, which was submerged in about 12 to 15 feet of water, will be the responsibility of the owner.

It is unclear how long the boat was in the water and what caused it to sink.

The file has been turned over to the RCMP, as the boat’s owner claims items from his boat are missing.

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