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Boat aground in Port Gamble Bay prompts spill response | UPDATED

LITTLE BOSTON — A 60-foot wooden vessel reported aground in Port Gamble Bay on Thursday prompted an oil spill response from state and local agencies.

The boat had been anchored in the bay and was likely pushed ashore by strong winds sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning, said Jessica Coyle of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe's Department of Natural Resources. The grounding was not reported to the tribe until about 1 p.m.

Officials saw a light oil sheen on the beach when they responded and deployed a containment boom provided by the state Department of Ecology, Coyle said. The tribe has temporarily closed its shellfish harvest on the beach.

Representatives from Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard arrived later in the afternoon and are arranging to have the boat removed by a private salvage company.

Coyle said the owner of the boat is not a tribal member and does not live in the area. The boat is a former Navy vessel and has been anchored in the harbor for several months.

Ecology spokeswoman Katie Skipper said diesel fuel likely seeped out of vents on the boat's tanks because the boat is leaning slightly on the beach. It's unclear how much fuel was spilled.

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