A containership discovered to be leaking fuel oil in New York may have spilled up to 100,000 gals. during a transit up the U.S. East Coast from Florida, Coast Guard officials said.

The 922’x102’x33’, 54,155-dwt Dublin Express, operated by Hapag-Lloyd,  was identified as the source of a March 28 spill in the Arthur Kill waterway, at the Global New York Container Terminal near the Goethals Bridge between Staten Island, N.Y., and New Jersey. Oil sheens and tar balls showed up on New York beaches in the following days.

A 15” hole was found in a fuel tank with 300,000 gals. capacity, and chemical analysis by the Coast Guard confirmed Dublin Express oil matched what cleanup teams had found. About 35,000 gals. of oily water was recovered from the Arthur Kill.

Based on what its investigators found and information from ship operators, Coast Guard officials believe the containership may have lost as much as 100,000 gals. of fuel oil through the leak. The cause has not been determined. Environmental damage appeared to be minor, with four oiled birds recovered and delivered for rehabilitation to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, Newark, Del.

“This response was a joint effort between state and federal agencies and the responsible party,” said Capt. Jason Tama, the Coast Guard captain of the port in New York and the federal coordinator for the spill response. “We take any release of oil into the maritime environment extremely seriously, and we are thankful for the quick and efficient response from all agencies involved.”

The Coast Guard cleared the Dublin Express for departure from New York on the morning of April 4, following completion of repairs and cleaning of the vessel.

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.