Processor's ship leaking oil near Bethel

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2000

BETHEL (AP) -- A World War II-vintage ship used as a floating dormitory for fish processing workers has taken on water in a slough near Bethel, and is releasing some sort of oily sheen that's moved down the Kuskokwim River and into the small-boat harbor, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Containment boom was being placed around the Maren 1 Thursday afternoon, said Leslie Pearson of DEC, after sorbent boom proved ineffective in stopping the sheen from moving downstream.

The ship was listing about 30 degrees, and Coast Guard inspectors found six to eight feet of water inside when they checked the 152-foot vessel, owned by Inlet Fisheries, on Tuesday. The vessel is being stored for the season in Steamboat Slough.

''It appears that during low tide everything comes out of the vessel and moves downstream,'' Pearson said.

It's not clear what is leaking from the vessel or what kinds of contaminants may be aboard.

''The owners haven't informed us what may have been left behind,'' she said.

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