Company fined for oil spill from vessel sinking

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington Department of Ecology is fining a seafood company more than $112,000 for an oil spill caused by the accidental sinking of its vessel, the Clam Digger, in July 2013 near Anacortes.

Authorities have determined negligence was a factor in the sinking and spill.

The boat owned by American Gold Seafoods encountered high waves and took on water and then sank on July 10, 2013. Divers recovered the boat six days later, but during recovery efforts 315 gallons of oil spilled.

Dale Jensen of the Department of Ecology says the spill was preventable. He says the Clam Digger was not adequately maintained.

Investigators uncovered open or leaky deck hatches on the vessel, which compromised its ability to stay watertight. Modifications to the vessel also made it susceptible to flooding.