With the smell of diesel strong in the air, dive teams and salvage crews are working quickly at the scene of Shelter Bay Marina in La Conner this morning.
After Friday’s fire that sunk seven boats and damaged at least seven more, officials estimate 100 gallons of diesel spilled into the harbor with a possible 4,000 gallons still inside the sunken vessels.
“The longer the boats sit under water, the bigger the chance of them leaking fuel,” said Officer John Riddle of the Swinomish Police Department. “Which is why we are all working quickly.”
The state Department of Ecology is at the scene working to contain and clean up the oil slick.
At 11 a.m., Anacortes-based Culbertson Marine started lifting the boats out of the water with help from Northwest Diving and Marine Services.
The boats will be taken to Anacortes, where they will be inspected for damage, insurance claims and to try and determine the fire’s cause, said Sgt. George Smith of the Swinomish police.