Fuel cleanup continues after Tarpon Springs boat fire - WRBL

Fuel cleanup continues after Tarpon Springs boat fire

Posted: Updated:
Skye Marie after fire Skye Marie after fire
Firefighters remain at the Tarpon Springs dock to make sure the fire doesn't reignite Firefighters remain at the Tarpon Springs dock to make sure the fire doesn't reignite
TARPON SPRINGS, FL (WFLA) -
Divers will inspect the burned out hull of a shrimp boat first thing Thursday morning to see if any diesel or hydraulic fluid is still leaking from it.
 
"Our main concern is eliminating the pollution threat and that's what we're doing right now," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Sullivan, a Marine Science Technician for the U.S. Coast Guard.
 
Crews from federal and state agencies worked alongside vacuum trucks into the night Wednesday, soaking up the oily water mixture around the Skye Marie, which fire tore through starting around 7:45 Tuesday night.
 
Sullivan said teams had contained about 2,200 gallons of the oily water mixture by sundown on Wednesday. City estimates earlier in the day said there was as much as 6,000 gallons onboard when the boat burned.
 
"Right now we have the threat contained," Sullivan said. "It's a minimal threat right now. It's all contained within boom: Hard boom and them secondary absorbent boom around that, so there's no chance of the product being released outside of the containment area."
 
The Skye Marie will stay where it is for now.
 
"Right now it's not a hazard to navigation," Sullivan said. "It's not in the middle of the channel."
 
Florida Fish and Wildlife and Department of Environmental Protection officers on scene are constantly checking to see if the incident is impacting wildlife.
 
"We haven't seen anything as of yet.  FWC and DEP have been on multiple rides up and down the river," Sullivan said. "There will be a minimal impact to the environment as with any discharge but as of right now we haven't seen any animals affected."
 
Crowds of locals are constantly coming to see the site.

"That man has lost his livelihood for now," said Ann Perdikos as she looked at what was left of the Skye Marie. "I have to say it could've been a lot worse because of where it's situated."

Bill Harris owns the 85-foot boat. He said he's made his living fishing for shrimp in Tarpon Springs for more than 40 years.

"I just want to apologize to everybody in Tarpon Springs, the commercial fishermen, or anybody that my boat damaged in this fire. I'd like to just say I'm sorry. But I'm thankful for the fire department. They did everything they could do. There ain't much more than you could ask," said Harris. "I know it's not my fault, but it's still my business and my boat that's done this."

He does not know what sparked the fire.

"I have no idea. I was here from 2 o'clock to 5 o'clock today just working on the boat, doing regular maintenance. There was no power to the boat. No generators or engines were running," explained Harris. "All I can say is it had to be an act of God."

On Wednesday, Harris' daughter, Carly Caza, and a family friend raised questions about how the fire was put out, saying using water on the flames caused the fire to spread.

"I know they shouldn't have put it out with water, they should have used sea foam. You shouldn't put out diesel fuel with water," she said.

Fire officials say they used up to 1,000 gallons of foam but used water when they first arrived because it takes some time to deploy the foam.

"As we set up our foam operations, which takes a little bit, we had to do something to try to contain the fire as much as we could and also do something to keep it from spreading to the interior boat at that time," said Scott Young, district chief of Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue.

Fire officials say there were two other vessels tied to the "Skye Marie."

Firefighters declared the "Skye Marie" a total loss.  Harris says the boat was not insured and he's not sure if he will be able to stay in business.

The FWC closed the river to boat traffic Tuesday night.  It reopened around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Stay with WFLA.com for the latest on this developing story.

Follow us on twitter @wflatampa

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • NewsMore>>

  • Lakeland residents not happy with answers about coyotes

    Lakeland residents not happy with answers about coyotes

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:56:23 GMT
    About 75 people gathered at Lakeland City Hall Wednesday night and many of them weren’t happy with what they heard about coyotes that have been mutilating and killing cats in Lakeland’s Lake Hollingsworth neighborhood.
    About 75 people gathered at Lakeland City Hall Wednesday night and many of them weren’t happy with what they heard about coyotes that have been mutilating and killing cats in Lakeland’s Lake Hollingsworth neighborhood.
  • Car loses control injuring 3 at Dunedin shopping center

    Car loses control injuring 3 at Dunedin shopping center

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:37:40 GMT
    An out of control car injured three people at a Dunedin shopping center on Wednesday afternoon. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Curlew Road and Bayshore Boulevard.
    An out of control car injured three people at a Dunedin shopping center on Wednesday afternoon. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Curlew Road and Bayshore Boulevard.
  • Bradenton Police looking for missing 82-year-old man

    Bradenton Police looking for missing 82-year-old man

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:45 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:45:01 GMT
    Missing man, 82-year-old Bonner Welch of BradentonMissing man, 82-year-old Bonner Welch of Bradenton
    Bradenton Police officers are looking for a missing 82-year-old man on Wednesday night. Officers are looking for Bonner Welch who they say is missing and endangered.
    Bradenton Police officers are looking for a missing 82-year-old man on Wednesday night. Officers are looking for Bonner Welch who they say is missing and endangered.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.