Fishing boat washes up on Shell Beach after storm – The San Luis Obispo Tribune

Update 8:45 p.m.

No fuel leaked into the ocean from an untethered fishing boat that washed up on Shell Beach following a storm, a California Fish and Wildlife official said Wednesday evening.

The vessel was discovered perched on a section of rocks along the beach, likely after being jostled loose from its mooring in San Luis Harbor, said public information officer Steve Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said the boat floated about two miles from the harbor before running aground on the beach.

Crews removed 185 gallons of fuel from the boat, along with any oil and batteries on board, Gonzalez said.

There was some confusion earlier Wednesday evening as to whether any fuel had leaked into the ocean.

Gonzalez told The Tribune at 8:40 p.m. that no fuel had in fact seeped into the water, confirming an initial report from Port San Luis Harbor District Manager Andrea Lueker.

Salvage workers plan to repair the boat and move it back to the harbor during high tide Thursday morning, Gonzalez said.

“It was the best scenario out of a bad situation,” he said.

Lueker said she wasn’t sure how long the boat had been stranded. She said stormy conditions overnight Tuesday might have blown the vessel toward the shore.

Two private companies were assisting the boat owner in repairing and removing the vessel, Lueker said.

Original story:

A fishing boat believed to have broken free from its mooring during an overnight storm was discovered washed up on Shell Beach on Wednesday, officials said.

The boat became perched on a section of rocks along the beach, where crews were working Wednesday evening to prepare the boat to be towed back to San Luis Harbor during high tide Thursday.

California Fish and Wildlife officials on scene were monitoring concerns about fuel possibly leaking into the ocean.

It remained unclear how much fuel — if any — had leaked from the boat.

A Fish and Wildlife official told The Tribune “a little bit of fuel” had leaked into the water, though Port San Luis Harbor District Manager Andrea Lueker said it was her understanding that no fuel had ended up in the water.

Steve Gonazalez, a public information officer for Fish and Wildlife, said there was a report that about 100 gallons had leaked into the water, but he wasn’t sure where that figure originated.

Officials were continuing to gather information, and more details were expected Thursday.

Lueker said she wasn’t sure how long the boat had been stranded. She said strong overnight winds might have blown it toward the shore.

Two private companies were assisting the boat owner in repairing and removing the vessel, Lueker said.

Tribune photographer Joe Johnston contributed to this story.

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