In the afternoon of 20-MAY-2020, NMFS Stranding Coordinator in CA contacted the NOAA SSC regarding a 30-35 foot long Gay whale carcass in the area of Santa Cruz, CA. It is expected that the carcass may be towed offshore tomorrow (21-MAY) and released around mid-day. NMFS requested a carcass drift estimate to aid in determining how far offshore to tow the carcass so it does not re-beach in the upcoming days.
Shortly before midnight on 19-MAY-2020, USCG Sector San Francisco received a call from the 30’ wooden S/V FREEDOM that she was beset by weather and adrift south of Pillar Point Harbor, CA. All persons on board were rescued without incident and no pollution threat is anticipated. The subsequent morning, the Monterey Bay & Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries' staff contacted the NOAA SSC for CA to request a drift estimate for the un-manned vessel to assist in potential recovery/removal by the vessel owner.
Early afternoon on 15-MAY-2020, NMFS Stranding Coordinator in CA contacted the NOAA SSC regarding a 35 foot long whale carcass on the beach at Carpinteria, CA. It is expected that the carcass may be towed offshore tomorrow (16-MAY) and released in the mid-afternoon. NMFS requested a carcass drift estimate to aid in determining how far offshore to tow the carcass so it does not re-beach in the upcoming days.
USCG Sector Delaware Bay notified the NOAA SSC at 9:30am on 7 May 2020 that a 45 ft long commercial fishing vessel was hard aground on the south side jetty in Barnegat Inlet, New Jersey. Vessel has 500 gallons on board. No pollution reported at this time. USCG requested trajectory and resources at risk support.
At 0900 on 7 May 2020, USCG Sector Virginia notified the NOAA SSC that approximately 2,000-4,000 gallons of diesel fuel has been released into the York River at Gloucester Point from a Navy vessel. USCG and VADEQ going on-scene to investigate. USCG has not made any requests for NOAA support at this time.
On May 6, 2020, the 40 ft fishing vessel, MACH III, landed hard aground about 300 yards off the southern shore of Sheffield Island (Long Island Sound) and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge this morning. USCG contacted the NOAA SSC. The vessel is carrying approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel. No pollution reported. Salvage plans being developed. All crew rescued.
On May 3, 2020, the USCG received a potential spill report from NESDIS initiated NRC #1276557. The USCG confirmed a very light grey/silver sheen via overflight. A pinhole pipeline leak was the suspected source. 04 May 2020 Crimson shut in the suspected pipeline. No anticipated shoreline impacts. USCG requested an oil spill trajectory.
On 30-APR-2020, USCG Sector San Francisco contacted their NOAA SSC to report a 90’ Pleasure Craft GOING COASTAL that was reportedly sinking roughly four miles offshore, just south of Carmel Bay, CA. The vessel is believed to be carrying up to 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel. USCG requested a spill trajectory.
In response to an official request of the Government of Ecuador via the U.S. Department of State, the US National Response Team was activated to share their expertise for an April 7, 2020 pipeline spill into the Coca River on the border between the Napo and Sucumbíos Provinces. A sinkhole undercut the right of way three pipelines resulting in a spill of approximately 10,000 barrels of crude oil and 1245 barrels of gasoline into the Coca River. PetroEcuador has requested technical assistance to strengthen the methodologies that are currently being applied and also to improve practices for future spill responses.
April 29, 2020 at 05:53am USCG Sec NOLA received report of a low-sulfur diesel fuel discharge from the M/V PAC ACRUX into the Mississippi River MM164 (Convent, LA) (NRC #1276293). The vessel allided with a mooring dolphin, causing an 18-24” gash and 2-3” hole in the fuel settling tank. Approximately 264 gallons of fuel was discharged from the tank into the Mississippi River. A black and rainbow sheen was observed on the water’s surface. No shoreline or wildlife impacts reported.
Apr 24 and Apr 25 2020 NOAA NESDIS identified an anomaly south east of Marsh Island, LA (NRC Reports 1276036, 1276099, 1276102). The anomaly ranged from 2 to 14 nm in length. Apr 26 2020 USCG Houma confirmed presence of a sheen and identified the source as a pin hole leak in the riser of a well head. USCG determined the sheen to be non recoverable oil. No impact to shoreline reported. USCG plans to clamp the line on Apr 27. USCG requested a trajectory in the unlikely event of a large release of oil during operations.
On 21 April 2020 at 1200 hours, USCG Sector North Carolina notified the NOAA SSC that an oil sheen was reported to have been observed in the Cape Fear River, south of Wilmington, North Carolina. USCG has deployed resources to the area. No requests for any technical or scientific support at this time.
On Friday afternoon, 17-APR-2020, NOAA’s NESDIS office issued a Marine Pollution Surveillance Report (MPSR) of a possible spill 108 NM to the Southwest of San Diego, CA. The SSC was in contact with staff from USCG District 11 and Sector San Diego. Though the anomaly was not confirmed as oil, this Hotline is being opened to capture some of the questions, discussion and outcomes that ensued.
On April 17, 2020, a tank truck spilled approximately 11,000 gallons of gasoline on a traffic circle in Revere, MA. The area is within 1000 feet of a marsh system that leads to open water.
The morning of April 16, a 21-foot powerboat ran aground near the rock jetty outside of Haleiwa boat harbor, Oahu. A USCG helicopter airlifted two people aboard to safety. The vessel has a maximum potential of 50 gallons of gasoline aboard, as well as miscellaneous lube oils and two marine batteries. An analysis of oil fate in the event of a release was requested.
On 15-Apr-2020, the 60’ P/V Bella Vita struck a submerged pinnacle rock in Cochrane Bay in Prince William Sound. The vessel captain was forced to abandon ship. The vessel sank in 800’ of water. The two passengers were rescued by a nearby good samaritan vessel. The Bella Vita has an estimated 700 gallons of diesel on board, along with a small amount of engine oil. No release or sheen has yet occurred. The Alaska DEC has requested NOAA to provide trajectory and fates analysis.
On the morning of April 13, 2020, the Tug ALBERT ran aground while pushing a double-hulled barge with 95,000 gallons of diesel aboard. There are no reports of pollution at this time. USCG is requesting a trajectory and resources at risk.
At 2000 hrs on 12-Apr-2020, USCG Marine Safety Unit Valdez was notified of an oily water discharge from the Valdez Marine Terminal into Port Valdez. A 180' x 50' silver sheen was observed at Berth 4. The source is a failed sump that has been secured. Phone support at this time.
Sector Puget Sound notified ERD that the F/V Kathleen ~60 ft, ran hard aground on Jefferson Head (South of Kingston, WA), at approximately 0530. Three crewmembers were rescued and no injuries were reported. There are approximately 8,000 gallons of diesel onboard.
Process has begun for the salvage and removal of the grounded FV Freyja. The Freyja grounded on Unalaska Island in March 2019. Removal may include scuttling at sea. NOAA SSC has been requested to assist with contacts and permits.