VENICE — A marine fuel spill cleanup took place early Wednesday at the Crow’s Nest in Venice’s Roberts Bay.
An estimated 7-10 gallons of diesel fuel spilled around 8 a.m. as a small pleasure craft was refueling at the Crow’s Nest fuel dock. The diesel fuel made its way into a corner of the marina contained by two retaining walls.
Sea Tow Venice was called in immediately to conduct the oil recovery. An absorbent boom was placed around the fuel.
“Two cups of diesel can spread over an acre, so we want to move quickly,” said Craig Marcum, owner of Sea Tow Venice. “Luckily the wind is cooperating; otherwise that could have spread into the bay.”
Winds from the northeast pushed the spill into a corner of the marina, containing the spill and making it easier to clean up.
Venice Police were on scene as a precaution.
Marcum said he heard about the spill on his marine radio and responded immediately. He was contacted and asked to do whatever it took to clean up the spill, he said.
Marcum and his wife, Charlotte, were walking the dock Wednesday morning, examining the spill and directing a Sea Tow boat to maneuver the absorbent boom and begin spill-recovery operations. Absorbent pads were also used to clean other infrastructure touched by the fuel.
“It’s not like gasoline. Diesel evaporates much more slowly. It’s oily,” Marcum said. “And you don’t want to mix it” with soap substances that can “sink to the bottom and just sit there. The absorbent booms work best.”
By the Thursday morning, Marcum pulled the disposable absorbent oil boom. He estimated 5-6 gallons of diesel was recovered. It was handed over to the Central County Solid Waste Disposal Complex on Thursday morning, which has a special procedure for disposing of it.