Diesel spill reaches Ganges Harbour

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Canada Coast Guard members were on site at Ganges Harbour Wednesday morning to contain and remove a marine fuel spill.

Jim Heath, Harbour Authority of Salt Spring Island manager, said the clean-up operation had ended by mid-day. The spill was first detected by a boat owner who was moored at one of HASSI’s downtown docks on Tuesday night.

Heath said the boater called 911 and got a response from Salt Spring Fire Rescue. Their members arrived at the same time as a returning Coast Guard crew, who took over the operation from there.

“I’m very appreciative of my boater for making the appropriate call,” Heath said.

Staff at the Coast Guard’s marine fuel spill report line said that crews got to work on an environmental response near the floatplane dock around 8 a.m. They employed booms around the marina to contain the fuel and pads to clean up some product.

The source of the spill had not yet been determined by Wednesday afternoon.

Heath said a fuel sheen was also spotted near the Three Sisters Islands. That seemed to confirm a suspicion the diesel came in from a spill further out in the harbour, based on the combination of the wind and the tide on Tuesday night.

“The best guess is that it’s marked diesel,” Heath said, noting the characteristic red colouring. “Now we’re trying to find out who might have had it and who might have been travelling that area last night.”

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