NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (August 28, 2018)—Naval Air Station Patuxent River's Port Operations Division responded to fuel leakage from a partially submerged civilian watercraft with a containment boom Aug. 28.
NAS Patuxent River's Port Operations staff noticed a sheen on the water near the civilian craft at 7:15 a.m. Aug. 28. NAS Patuxent River Port Operations immediately deployed two boats with a 1000-foot containment boom in response. Personnel from U.S. Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes were also notified and dispatched for response and investigation.
Though the vessel is private property and not within the jurisdictional waters of the Navy, NAS Patuxent River Port Operations quickly reacted as the closest first responder in order to prevent environmental impact to the river.
As of 10:35 a.m., NAS Patuxent River's Port Operations contained the 100-by-300-foot fuel sheen.
Monitoring of the partially submerged civilian craft began Aug. 21 when NAS Patuxent River Port Operations staff noticed what appeared to be a sinking vessel a half mile northwest of the base in the Patuxent River. An initial investigation determined that the vessel was a civilian-owned former Navy YP craft, and that no one was onboard. NAS Patuxent River Port Operations also determined that while the craft was taking on water, no visible signs of oil or hazardous substances (OHS) were emitting from the sinking vessel at the time. NAS Patuxent River Port Operations and U.S. Coast Guard personnel have been monitoring the situation since then looking for signs of any OHS being emitted from the vessel.
"We've been working with the Coast Guard for about a week, monitoring the craft for any signs of leakage until the owner could tow it off," said David Wick, NAS Patuxent River Installation Program Director, Port Operations. "But once we noticed the sheen on the water our Port Operations staff jumped into action. We'll continue to work with the Coast Guard and other organizations to make sure there is as minimal an impact as possible to the Patuxent River."