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Fishing boat sinks at Sandy Point dock, fuel leak is ‘minimal’

Fishing boat sinks at Sandy Point dock

Whatcom Fire District 17 and a crew from Phillips 66 refinery respond to a fishing boat that sank at a dock at Sandy Point west of Bellingham, Monday morning, Aug. 8, 2016. (The boat's status was corrected Aug. 15, 2016.)
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Whatcom Fire District 17 and a crew from Phillips 66 refinery respond to a fishing boat that sank at a dock at Sandy Point west of Bellingham, Monday morning, Aug. 8, 2016. (The boat's status was corrected Aug. 15, 2016.)

A fishing vessel sank as it sat moored at a private dock in Sandy Point on Monday morning, Aug. 8, leaking fuel into the water.

Crews responded to 4057 Saltspring Drive, an empty lot near where the Coral Sea was docked, at about 8 a.m., said Fire Chief Jim Petrie with Whatcom County Fire District 17. By then, the boat had sunk with its hull resting on the ground beneath the water. Its mast and wheelhouse were still exposed, and the boat leaned against the dock on its port side.

Crews from the Phillips 66 refinery in Ferndale were helping to clean up the spill and had contained all the leaked fuel within a boom, Petrie said. Whatcom Unified Emergency Management personnel were also at the scene.

“I think the spill is pretty minimal — the guys from the refinery were here pretty quickly to boom it off,” Petrie said at about 10 a.m. “At this point, we’re waiting for the Coast Guard and Department of Ecology to arrive and determine what they want to do with the boat.”

No one was on board the boat, which is used for fishing, when it sank, Petrie said.

Albert Kovacevich is the boat’s owner, said John Gargett, deputy director of emergency management with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. Kovacevich was not at the scene Monday, Gargett said, adding that he heard Kovacevich lived outside Whatcom County.

The boat's status was corrected Aug. 15, 2016.

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