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Whidbey Island Spill; South end of Whidbey Island, Washington

South end of Whidbey Island, Washington | 1984-Dec-21

Initial Notification: At 1130 on December 21, 1984, the United States Coast Guard was notified by a boater of an oil slick off Edmonds, Washington. The actual spiller, estimated to have released 119 barrels, had not reported the incident. Six suspect vessels had their oil "fingerprinted" by the Coast Guard to identify the responsible party. Funds for the spill cleanup initially came from the USCG revolving oil pollution fund. An overflight of the area was conducted at 1400. The spill occurred during a time when thousands of migratory birds are overwintering in the area. Between 1,500 and 2,000 of these birds were oiled as a result of the spill. Many birds were treated at the South Whidbey Island Wildlife Clinic. On December 23, personnel at a bird clinic established at Mukilteo's Olympic Junior High school began cleaning and feeding hundreds of oiled birds. The birds were washed with dish washing detergent and tube-fed a mixture of Kaopectate, honey, high-protein baby cereal, activated charcoal, thirst-quencher, and poison antidote until the center received a high-protein feed donated by Ralston Purina's Woodinville, Washington plant. Due to this donation and excellent handling, 60 percent of the 428 cleaned birds were last reported as surviving, as compared to an average survival rate of 20 percent for oiled birds. Manual cleanup of beaches was most prevalent where waters were too shallow for cleanup vessels. In many of these narrow channels, the water was not deep enough to float boats carrying boom. USCG district 13. Keyword: Fingerprinting, manual removal..

Incident Details
Products of concern:Bunker fuel oil
Latitude (approximate): 47° 50.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 122° 25.02′ West