.Cleanup Crews Respond to Grounded Boat at Dillon Beach

By Bay City News Service

Cleanup crews have set up a containment boom near a grounded boat after finding a small amount of motor oil on shore north of Dillon Beach.

The 90-foot boat, the American Challenger, was being towed Friday from Puget Sound, Washington, when a rope became entangled in the propeller of the tugboat. The drifting boat grounded on a stretch of rocky shoreline north of Dillon Beach at 1am Saturday.

An investigation is underway by a unified command of local, state and federal officials to determine how much fuel has leaked from the boat. Officials said there is no extensive sheen coming from the vessel, but that an environmental assessment found some oil contamination on the beach near the boat.

As a precaution, crews set up 4,000 feet of boom around the boat to protect sensitive habitat in the area, including oyster beds. 

A 100-foot gap in the boom exists for recreational boaters for access at the deepest point of the channel south and east of Hog Island. If there is a threat to the oyster bed, officials said the gap will be closed. 

There are no impacts to commercial traffic or scheduled marine events at this time, officials said, as well as no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach the animal and instead call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at  1-877-823-6926.

More information about the cleanup effort is available at CalSpillWatch.com.

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