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Keyport oil spill cleanup complete

The Little Mo is now floating without a problem after sinking last week at a private Keyport Marina.  - Courtesy Photo
The Little Mo is now floating without a problem after sinking last week at a private Keyport Marina.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

POULSBO — The “Little Mo” has resurfaced from the depths after sinking and leaking roughly 25 gallons of oil into the water off the shores of Keyport.

Officials believe the boat, which was berthed at a private dock at the end of Grandview Boulevard, sank because of an incorrectly placed bilge hose.

The boat has been raised and is now floating, said Department of Ecology (DOE) spokesperson Larry Altose.

Site cleanup wrapped up for the most part Friday, though absorption pads may still be in the area as a precaution. Oil within containment booms was sopped up and pier pilings were cleaned. Staff from PM Boatworks of Keyport assisted with cleanup.

Seattle-based contractor Global Diving and Salvage, called in by the U.S. Coast Guard, was working earlier this week to clean 1,600 feet of containment boom from DOE emergency equipment trailers used. Altose said the trailers, from Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island, were expected to be returned today. A trailer stationed in Kingston also supplied 200 feet of boom.

Altose said the incorrect placement of the bilge hose caused a pump to instead act like a syphon, bringing water onto the 32-foot wooden tug. The boat sank some time last Wednesday night. The Poulsbo Fire Department first responded to calls Thursday morning.

Oil sheens have been spotted floating on either side of Port Orchard in small patches. Altose said the product could have come from Keyport, as the flow is consistent with currents, but neither patch was touching the shoreline.

Another sheen was observed in a main shipping channel between Bainbridge Island and Seattle, but the likely cause determined is a vessel discharge, not the Keyport spill. Altose said untraceable discharge is a fairly common occurrence.

Either way, he encouraged boat owners to practice good maintenance on their vessels.

“Good maintenance is good environmental practice,” he said.

The DOE has placed 100 of its 18-foot emergency spill response trailers throughout the state of Washington; 60 can be found in Western Washington locations.

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