Lynden-based fishing boat owner fined $11,000 for spill

The Lynden-based owner of a fishing vessel has been fined $11,000 because one of its boats spilled diesel into Elliott Bay in Seattle, the Washington state Department of Ecology announced Thursday, Jan. 15.

The Sept. 13, 2013, spill occurred while the Bristol Leader was refueling from a tank truck at Terminal 91. The spill totaled 181 gallons.

An oil spill containment boom had been placed around the boat before fueling began, so that kept most of the diesel from spreading beyond the water immediately around the 167-foot catcher-processor.

Alaskan Leader Fisheries is the boat’s owner.

The spill occurred because incoming fuel went to a partly full tank instead of empty tanks when the boat’s chief engineer didn’t follow the company’s procedures and loading plan, according to Ecology.

Alaskan Leader had no prior spills in the state, Ecology said, and cooperated with the cleanup response and investigation.

The state also billed the owner $3,681 for cleanup oversight and damage to natural resources.