Sun burns off 'significant' diesel spill in harbor

The diesel fuel that blanketed 3 1/2 acres of the Newport Harbor on Monday has burned off, authorities confirmed Tuesday.

Neighbors called Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol just before 9:30 a.m. Monday to report diesel fuel floating between the Lido Isle and Newport Boulevard bridges, said D.J. Haldeman, watch commander for marine operations.

Harbor Patrol responded but could not determine what marina or vessel was responsible for the spill, Haldeman said.

He could not estimate the amount of fuel in the harbor.

"It doesn't take a whole lot of diesel fuel to spread 3.5 acres," he said.

However, the sun had burned off the entire spill by 2:30 p.m. Monday.

"If you get some good sun and wind, it'll burn off more quickly," he said.

Haldeman estimates that Harbor Patrol responds to small fuel spills at least once a week.

Monday's leak was classified as a "significant spill," a magnitude typically seen only three or four times a year in the Newport Harbor area, he said.

—Hannah Fry


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