A boat blown onto a beach Sunday afternoon spilled about 25 gallons of diesel fuel into the Swinomish Channel, which runs from Padilla Bay through LaConner to Skagit Bay.
When the boat hit the beach it rolled to one side, spilling fuel out of its fuel vent, said David Walde, interim emergency management division manager with the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management.
Swinomish Police officers, Emergency Management staff and contractors for the state Department of Ecology deployed absorbent pads that float on water and soak up spills.
Staff spent about 2 1/2 hours cleaning the diesel, Walde said. The pads were then picked up and stored in trash bags for proper disposal by Ecology.
The rising tide eventually freed the boat from the beach, and it was towed away. The owners were not injured, but will be billed for the agencies’ response.
Walde said his office gets called out for spills of this size about four times a year. Most spills in the county are smaller and come from vehicle crashes. Spills can be reported by calling 911 or Ecology’s spill report number, 1-800-424-8802.