TARPON SPRINGS — A fishing boat docked at a riverside marina sank Tuesday night and was found underwater Wednesday morning, leaking fuel into the Anclote River.
Roughly 10 gallons spilled into the river, causing minimal environmental damage before the spill was contained, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The state Department of Environmental Protection is investigating.
The 30-foot recreational fishing boat took on water overnight while it was docked at Marker 25 Marina at 1155 Anclote Road, located just west of Meyers Cove and the site of the former Stauffer Chemical plant. No one was on the boat at the time.
Once the spill was reported just before 7 a.m., hazardous materials response crews were called to contain the fuel leaking from the submerged boat. The fuel could be seen hugging the seawall along Meyers Cove, officials said.
Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue placed booms around the spill to contain the pollution.
The boat's owner is Michael Tsalickis, who also owns the marina. The Times couldn't reach him Wednesday.
Workers at the business next door to the marina, Raider Marine Service, pumped water out of the boat and raised the craft out of the river. That business' owner, Dan Slahetka, said the boat had been at the marina for about 20 years and that the owner recently began repairing it. Slahetka believed someone may have stolen parts off the boat and caused it to sink.
Mike Brassfield can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Send letters to the editor at tampabay.com/letters.