EDITORS NOTE: We will continue to update this post throughout the day as the story of the sunken vessel and fuel spill off of Beach Drive continues.
Two armed Coast Guard boats that typically escort Washington Ferries are cruising the shores off Beach Drive. They seem to be spending a lot of time by the crane and one of the boats has a crew member at one of the gun stations.
Update: it appears to be a water rescue off of 5411 Beach Dr SW per Seattle 9-1-1.
Update 8:34 am: it appears that "loader" type boat used in delivering rocks to this bulkhead capsized this morning. More info (and photos) to follow.
Update 8:58 am: King 5 News reports that the vessel that sank is 75 feet long and an obsorbant oil boom is being deployed. West Seattle Blog reports that no one was believed to be on board – King 5 news states it is unknown and that divers are in the water.
Update 9:05 am: it looks like this vessel sank around high tide, which was 11.1 ft at 7:30 am, we're heading towards a low tide of 6.1 at 1:00 pm.
The vessel is tied to the crane/barge operated by Waterfront Construction.
The 75 foot vessel appeared to have been a WWII landing craft that was being used to deliver rocks for the building of the new bulkhead off Beach Drive. It sank about 100 yards from a very popular dive spot "The Rock Pile" that is rich with ling cod and other bottom fish.
Update 9:30 am: Here is a photo we captured last Wednesday which includes a landing craft, quite possibly the one that is now sank and leaving fuel.
This photo of The Justin, was taken on October 4, 2011.
Update 10:00am booms being deployed to try to contain the fuel spill.
This appears to be the back up crane that may be used in recovering the sunken vessel along with two Coast Guard ships.
Update 10:50 am: Efforts to contain the fuel spill.
Update 12:42 pm: Attempts to lift the sunk vessel are taking place with water being pumped off the crane/barge.
Looks like boats from NRC (National Resource Consultants?) are on scene to check out impacts on the environment.
Update 1:30pm (hat tip West Seattle Blog via Twitter) from the Coast Guard's News Release:
It has been confirmed that no one was on board when the vessel sank. The owner of the vessel has reported there is approximately 300 gallons of diesel and 50 gallons of motor oil on board. There is an approximate 600 by 300-foot sheen on the water.
A sheen of diesel fuel this size will deteriorate as it is exposed to elements and natural wave action, but petroleum spills of any size cause environmental damage to water.
The responsible party has contracted National Response Corp. Environmental Services, which is on scene deploying boom, a skimmer and absorbent pads to contain and absorb the spill. They have also contracted divers to contain potential pollution. As the vessel was sinking, efforts were made by the responsible party to plug the fuel vents to prevent pollution.
Agencies are flying over the scene to survey the spill.
This photo just in from Scupper: "Safety is Everyone's Business"
4:50 pm update: a news truck has been parked by Emma Schmitz View Point next to an NCS dumpster.
Scupper picked up this hard hat with other trash.
Update 5:00pm: Channel 7 reports that the barge was damaged by the sinking vessel and was taking on water which is why the water was being pumped out.
KOMO-4 has footage interviewing Scupper, who was giving the media rides on the BDB Zodiak for close up views. A lot of the close-up footage is courtesy of Scupper – tune in at 6:00 and 11:00!