Coast Guard Cites Tugboat as ‘Responsible Party’ for Woods Hole Oil Spill

WOODS HOLE – The Coast Guard has identified the responsible party for the oil spill in Woods Hole as a tugboat that was in the area at the time.

The ‘Ocean King,’ owned by Patriot Marine, will be responsible for the cost of the response and the cleanup in Great Harbor.

The Coast Guard said the owner may also be subject to additional penalties related to the spill on January 21.

During a briefing last week, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Senior Scientist Dr. Chris Reddy said they were working to, “make a bad thing from getting worse.”

At least 23 dead birds as of last week had been recovered from the area since Sunday.

It was unclear how many died from coming in contact with the product, which officials believe was lubricating oil.

“We don’t know if they’re all related to that oil spill. We are in the process of documenting them,” said Falmouth Deputy Director of Marine Environment Chuck Martinson last week.

Shellfishing in the area has been banned until further notice. Experts said fin fish would not be impacted by the spill.

Cleanup crews quickly deployed 1,000 feet of containment and absorbent boom in the harbor in the hours after the first report to begin removing the oil and containing the spill.

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