Sunken tug causes spill near Ballard bridge

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by AMY MORENO / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 30 at 7:01 PM

Department of Ecology crews and the Coast Guard spent the day cleaning up after a partially sunken tugboat went underwater at its pier in Salmon Bay, near the Ballard Bridge.  A spill response team was brought in to help contain and clean the water.

It’s not clear what caused the boat to sink, but they’re investigating if weather could have been a factor.  The boat was discovered and reported to the Department of Ecology at about 7:30 Monday morning.

The Department of Ecology said the 65-foot tugboat, named Iver, was built in built in the 1920's.  The owner of the boat was fixing it up and living on it but nobody was home when it started sinking.

Crews placed special booms and pads in the water to contain and absorb the spill. 

“Anytime oil gets in the water, it causes damage,” said Laura Hayes with the Department of Ecology.

The boat has a 1,700 gallon tank but they're not sure how much was in there and how much spilled into the water.  Salvage divers were sent down to take a look at the boat and try to plug up spots where it’s leaking.

The Department of Ecology says the owner of the boat did not have insurance and may have to pay for much of the clean up and salvage operation.

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