Vinalhaven ferry delayed by spill near terminal

Posted Sept. 22, 2009, at 9:24 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A fuel spill Tuesday morning at the Rockland Ferry Terminal caused the ferry from Vinalhaven to be delayed for about an hour while authorities attempted to mop up.

Mikial Mazzeo, assistant chief of the Rockland Fire Department, said that he believed the sheen of “some type of petroleum product” that spread on the water around the terminal came from some wrecked cars on Vinalhaven that apparently had been crushed and then brought to the mainland.

“It was probably diesel fuel or the like,” Mazzeo said.

The Fire Department, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine State Ferry Service and Rockland Harbor Master’s Office all went to the scene of the fuel spill, which was noticed about 11 a.m.

Although authorities set up oil booms around the dock area to contain the fuel, eventually DEP said the efforts were useless and the booms were pulled up about 12:30.

“It was too wide of an area with just a very thin coating [of fuel],” Mazzeo said. “We didn’t sop anything up. It was too dissipated to do much of anything with.”

Mazzeo said that the Vinalhaven ferry pulled up and waited by the breakwater for about an hour while the oil booms were in place.

There is no public health caution in effect regarding the fuel spill, Mazzeo said.

“It looks like there’s a lot, but there isn’t,” Mazzeo said. “A drop of oil spreads out a tremendous amount. It was visible for quite an area around there.”

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