Zerlang and Zerlang Marine Services staff won’t let the Miss Katie go down without a fight. Video from this morning by Andrew Goff.

While Woodley Island harbor staff were out doing their regular “dock walk” this morning — a daily check-up to make sure everything is as it should be, according to Harbor District CEO Larry Oetker — their practiced eyes noticed something up on F Dock. Or something down, rather.

The Miss Katie, a commercial fishing vessel, was sinking. 

An oil sheen could be seen on the water, so the staff rushed to retrieve and place portable booms to contain and soak up the pollutant. Then they got on the horn and started calling people: the boat’s owner, the Coast Guard, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and more. A response was underway.

Zerlang and Zerlang Marine Services responded to the location and started pumping out the hold until the Miss Katie floated freely once more. 

Oetker told the Outpost this afternoon that the cause of the threatened descent to the depths appears to be a faulty plug that had cracked, allowing water to seep in. They’ll monitor the boat more closely for a few days to make sure that everything is now shipshape, but otherwise the Miss Katie should be fine, he said.

He added that the oil sheen was contained to the immediate area of the harbor, thanks to staff’s quick work.

Below: The incident as written up by the LoCO Spillbot, our cheapest reporter, shortly after the California Office of Emergency Services published its summary of the incident this morning.


A new hazardous materials incident involving petroleum has been reported to the California Office of Emergency Services.

According to a report published by the office, the incident took place at or near waterways in Eureka at around 8:45 a.m. today.

Here’s the description of the incident that was recorded by the Office of Emergency Services:

Per NRC: “The caller is reporting a sunken vessel with a light unknown oil sheen around it. The vessel sunk due to unknown reasons, but is in the process of being refloated by a salvage company.”

Remedial Actions: Boat is being refloated.

Vessel Type: Fishing
Fuel Capacity: 200 Gallons

Pier Dock #: F

Sheen Information
Sheen Color: Rainbow
Sheen Travel Direction: East
Sheen Size Length: 5 Feet
Sheen Size Width: 3 Feet

This was the 14th hazardous materials incident recorded by the Office of Emergency Services in the Eureka area this year and the 38th petroleum spill in the county overall.