Fishing Boat Fuel Spill Cleaned Up on Santa Cruz Island

The fishing vessel Speranza Marie lays on its port side after running aground on Santa Cruz Island on Dec. 15. Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Brahm, U.S. Coast Guard District 11 PADET Los Angeles.

Crews worked to contain and clean up diesel fuel spilling out of a 60-foot fishing boat that ran aground on Santa Cruz Island on Dec. 15, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

At about 2 a.m., members of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach watchstanders were alerted to a report from Vessel Assist Ventura about f/v Speranza Marie, which ran aground in Chinese Harbor on Santa Cruz Island.

The boat was carrying six people and about 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, according to the Guard.

A unified command was created by the Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) and Santa Barbara County to respond to the incident with a plan for removing and mitigating the pollution.

 “Diesel fuel is considered a non-persistent oil, compared to a heavier bunker or crude oil product, in even the calmest sea conditions, as it will lose 40% of its volume due to evaporation within 48 hours in cold weather,” the Coast Guard explained in a statement.

Crews continue to monitor area wildlife, which reportedly has not been affected. Trained OSPR responders were temporarily on hand, just in case.

Meanwhile, investigators are looking into the cause of the incident, the Guard said.