At 1205, on December 30, 2003, the Foss Maritime tank barge 248-P2 spilled nearly 6,000 gallons of bunker fuel oil during a loading operation at the Chevron-Point Wells facility in Shoreline, Washington. Approximately 4,637 gallons was discharged into Puget Sound. Upon notification, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Safety Office (MSO) Puget Sound, Washington Department of Ecology (DOE), and Foss Maritime launched an aggressive response, mobilizing numerous spill response personnel and nearly every major piece of spill response equipment in the Northwest. In less than 24 hours of the spill, nearly all the oil had moved ashore impacting only two miles of shoreline. The most heavily impacted area belonged to the Suquamish Indian Tribe, which included a highly sensitive and culturally significant saltwater marsh. A representative for the Suquamish Tribe quickly joined the Unified Command. Operational success can be linked to the frequent training and exercising of the responding agencies, preplanned geographic response plans, and use of incident command system. Despite the successes, weather and tides proved to be the leading contributor to the four-month shoreline clean up operation. Lessons learned identify response strong points in addition to areas needing improvement.

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