Cruiser USS Philippine Sea Spills Diesel Fuel Into York River

May 8, 2020 12:33 PM
The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) steams through the Mediterranean Sea March 14, 2014. Navy photo

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) spilled close to 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the York River on Thursday morning, the Navy confirmed to USNI News.

The spill occurred at 7 a.m. while Philippine Sea was pier side at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown. The cruiser was in Yorktown to load ammunition aboard.

The Navy is now investigating the cause of the spill.

Absorbent booms were already in place while Philippine Sea was pier side. The diesel fuel spill was mostly contained by the booms or under the pier. The ship’s crew, a Navy oil recovery team from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown and U.S. Coast Guard personnel responded to the incident, Navy officials told USNI News. By Thursday afternoon, 90 percent of the spill was recovered and absorbent materials were left in place to try to capture any remaining fuel.

The York County-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office flew an aerial drone over the site to try locating any diesel fuel washing ashore. As of Friday morning, Navy officials said the environmental impact, if any, was minimal. Any remaining diesel sheen on the water is considered unrecoverable and is expected to dissipate.

In August 2017, Philippine Sea returned to Mayport, Fla., from a seven-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East as part of the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group.

Philippine Sea is homeported in Mayport.

Ben Werner

Ben Werner

Ben Werner is a staff writer for USNI News. He has worked as a freelance writer in Busan, South Korea, and as a staff writer covering education and publicly traded companies for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore Business Journal. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from New York University.

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