Special boat rushed in to battle Va. oil spill
HERNDON, Va. -- Crews struggling to contain a large pool of spilled diesel fuel threatening Potomac River drinking water brought in a new weapon today: a specially fitted Coast Guard boat rushed from its New Jersey base.
Coast Guard Lt. James Laferriere said he ordered the high-powered, 32-foot boat brought from Fort Dix because of difficulties crews were encountering in trying to keep about 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel from flowing from Sugarland Creek into the Potomac. He said the crews were having difficulties PTC getting equipment to the mouth of the stream because of the terrain.
The boat, powered by two 250-horsepower engines, was being fitted with skimmers and was expected to begin siphoning oil held by containment booms.
Some fuel from Sunday's spill of 330,000 gallons made it into the river and moved downstream as far as Washington. People were warned to stay away from the river because of the stench from the fuel.