Burst hose spills fuel into Auke Bay

Marina hustles to control spread of diesel

Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2001

About 400 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into Auke Bay on Tuesday morning when a 2-inch flexible hose connection in a pipeline burst at Andrew's Marina at Fisherman's Bend.

The spill was reported about 9 a.m. and the U.S. Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation responded.

Andrew's Marina staff helped to limit the spill by immediately closing the shut-off valve and placing absorbent materials into the fuel-contaminated waters, according to DEC officials. The fuel line supplies a floating fuel dock from a shoreside fuel tank.

The Coast Guard assisted in containment and clean-up operations.

"It was the hose that failed," said Troy Andrew, owner of Andrew's Marina since 1974. "We worked our buns off to take care of it."

The shoreside fuel tank contains a total of 8,000 gallons, Andrew said.

"I'd like to thank the Coast Guard and DEC and our neighbors who pitched in. They really worked hard," Andrew said.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, DEC and the Coast Guard estimate that 250 gallons of spilled diesel had been recovered. Lt. Cmdr. Joe Paitl of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office said there were no sightings of oiled property or wildlife as a result of the spill.

"This was a significant amount of oil. However, the responsible parties did an excellent job of containing it before it really got away from them too much," said Scott Tiernan, an environmental specialist with DEC.

"It was very warm yesterday so a lot of it - perhaps a third or more - was evaporated," Tiernan added.

The Coast Guard and DEC will continue to monitor and clean up today, Tiernan said. Both will investigate the cause of the spill, the biggest in the Juneau area since the Dec. 17 spill of 100 to 200 gallons of heating oil inside the Court Plaza Building downtown.

Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneauempire.

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