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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

June, 2005

Shipwreck Causes Reef And Environmental Damage
By Don Deane

A sixty-five foot retired army picket boat, Christopher M, hit Duxberry Reef on Saturday, May 14, after a driveshaft malfunction began ripping the back of the ship apart. Taking water on fast, the skipper, Don Bosdell of Palmer, Alaska, put the boat onto Duxberry Reef, allowing his family, including an eight year old daughter, to get ashore. Bosdell had reportedly just purchased the Christopher M three days earlier in Stockton and was transporting it home when the 1955-vintage wooden vessel developed problems three miles off of Duxbury Reef.
US Coast Guard Station Golden Gate, based near the north end of the Golden Gate, launched a lifeboat after a Coast Guard helicopter spotted distress flares fired from the boat. But before help could arrive, the failing vessel grounded about one quarter-mile north of Agate Beach at around 9 p.m., said Coast Guard watch officer Heidi Aponte of the San Francisco Marine Office.
The Bolinas Fire Department, Marin County Sheriffs Office, and the Point Reyes National Seashore rangers responded to and rescued all four people who were on board, including three adults and one child. Due to a swift response by those on board and responders, no one suffered injuries.
Over Sunday and Monday, several agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Fish and Game, NOAA Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Point Reyes National Seashore attempted to stabilize the vessel and assess how to remove hazardous fuel, oil, batteries and other materials from the vessel. Approximately 700 gallons of diesel fuel were released into the inter-tidal zone as the vessel began to break up. Efforts by the Coast Guard and Parker Diving Service reduced the fuel spill as much as possible.
The reef is part of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary at Bolinas Point, within the boundary of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Bolinas Point, at the north end of Duxbury Reef, is part of Americas largest shale reef and is designated as a California Area of Special Biological Significance. The Bolinas Point reef habitat is relatively pristine due to relatively high water quality, limited trampling or collecting of intertidal organisms because of its remoteness, and virtually no agricultural runoff. It took millions of years to form the reef; it took only minutes for the 65 foot vessel to gouge the reef and destroy marine life and sensitive habitats. Unlike coral reefs, shale reefs cannot repair themselves; the physical damage to the reef is permanent.
Although the response to the disabled vessel was swift and effective. Effective efforts to contain the contaminating diesel fuel were marginal.
John DellOsso, National Park Service spokesman said, We responded immediately. The boat people got out late Satuarday night. Four people on board were safely taken off the ship. Next morning we were out there with Parker Dive, trying to remove the fuel. There were 700 gallon tanks on board. Fifty gallons of fuel were removed. They have a substance that solidifies the fuel but there was such danger on board they couldnt use it. We did remove the batteries, we didnt remove the engine too heavy.
DellOsso continued, For a large ship, there would be a similar response. We estimate the cleanup is an $80,000 job. The vessel was not insured. Thats something we deal with afterwards. Our first concern is to get the toxics out of the water. A larger vessel would result in a larger response. The response time is as quick as everybody can get out there. If it were a oil tanker, we would set up booms. We did set up booms right away but it doesnt work very well with diesel. Better with oil.
Debris from the Christopher M was scattered 300 yards up and down the reef. Notable were: a stuffed black and white panda bear, missing head; numerous tin cans missing labels; a broom, diesel fuel, battery charger, water tanks, six large marine batteries, yarn, yarn balls, splintered planks, step ladder, numberous articles of clothing and bedding, two large black drums, gallon milk container and one container of dishwashing soap.
Serious debris removal began on May 25 and 26. Little of the diesel fuel was contained or collected.
According to Mary Jane Schramm, spokesperson for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, damage to the reef and wildlife may include:
Physical destruction of the shale substrate (surface areas which support organisms)
Vessel fuel toxicity to reef organisms: mussels, snails, crabs, limpets and burrowing worms may ingest toxins, and in turn be eaten by seabirds and shorebirds
Chemical burn from contact with fuel
Smothering of reef organisms
Toxicity from hydraulic and other mechanical fluids
Toxicity from paint
Toxicity from battery acid
Scouring and scraping off of marine life by the hull and by debris
Loss of insulation through oiled plumage (birds)
Loss of spawning habitat: Surfgrass and kelp are brooding areas for marine invertebrates and fish

Extent and Duration of Damage estimate:
The trajectory of the oil is unknown, and is subject to wind, current and tides; thus, the extent of affected areas is presently unknown
The debris field (area across which debris is scattered) is growing; Farallones Marine Sanctuary Beach Watch deposition data show that, in this region, shoreline debris will redeposit for at least 80 miles to the south and 20 miles to the north of this location.
The full extent of damage to the reef may persist for years
Several government agencies have conducted long-term monitoring of the area, and have baseline data on species present and species potentially affected at and near the wreck site.











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!!!!"!!w!!!!!!!!!!!W!Shipwreck Causes Reef And Environmental Damage
By Don Deane
A sixty-five foot retired army picket boat, Christopher M, hit Duxberry Reef on Saturday, May 14, after a driveshaft malfunction began ripping the back of the ship apart. Taking water on fast, the skipper, Don Bosdell of Palmer, Alaska, put the boat onto Duxberry Reef, allowing his family, including an eight year old daughter, to get ashore. Bosdell had reportedly just purchased the Christopher M three days earlier in Stockton and was transporting it home when the 1955-vintage wooden vessel developed problems three miles off of Duxbury Reef.
US Coast Guard Station Golden Gate, based near the north end of the Golden Gate, launched a lifeboat after a Coast Guard helicopter spotted distress flares fired from the boat. But before help could arrive, the failing vessel grounded about one quarter-mile north of Agate Beach at around 9 p.m., said Coast Guard watch officer Heidi Aponte of the San Francisco Marine Office.
The Bolinas Fire Department, Marin County Sheriffs Office, and the Point Reyes National Seashore rangers responded to and rescued all four people who were on board, including three adults and one child. Due to a swift response by those on board and responders, no one suffered injuries.
Over Sunday and Monday, several agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Fish and Game, NOAA Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Point Reyes National Seashore attempted to stabilize the vessel and assess how to remove hazardous fuel, oil, batteries and other materials from the vessel. Approximately 700 gallons of diesel fuel were released into the inter-tidal zone as the vessel began to break up. Efforts by the Coast Guard and Parker Diving Service reduced the fuel spill as much as possible.
The reef is part of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary at Bolinas Point, within the boundary of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Bolinas Point, at the north end of Duxbury Reef, is part of Americas largest shale reef and is designated as a California Area of Special Biological Significance. The Bolinas Point reef habitat is relatively pristine due to relatively high water quality, limited trampling or collecting of intertidal organisms because of its remoteness, and virtually no agricultural runoff. It took millions of years to form the reef; it took only minutes for the 65 foot vessel to gouge the reef and destroy marine life and sensitive habitats. Unlike coral reefs, shale reefs cannot repair themselves; the physical damage to the reef is permanent.
Although the response to the disabled vessel was swift and effective. Effective efforts to contain the contaminating diesel fuel were marginal.
John DellOsso, National Park Service spokesman said, We responded immediately. The boat people got out late Satuarday night. Four people on board were safely taken off the ship. Next morning we were out there with Parker Dive, trying to remove the fuel. There were 700 gallon tanks on board. Fifty gallons of fuel were removed. They have a substance that solidifies the fuel but there was such danger on board they couldnt use it. We did remove the batteries, we didnt remove the engine too heavy.
DellOsso continued, For a large ship, there would be a similar response. We estimate the cleanup is an $80,000 job. The vessel was not insured. Thats something we deal with afterwards. Our first concern is to get the toxics out of the water. A larger vessel would result in a larger response. The response time is as quick as everybody can get out there. If it were a oil tanker, we would set up booms. We did set up booms right away but it doesnt work very well with diesel. Better with oil.
Debris from the Christopher M was scattered 300 yards up and down the reef. Notable were: a stuffed black and white panda bear, missing head; numerous tin cans missing labels; a broom, diesel fuel, battery charger, water tanks, six large marine batteries, yarn, yarn balls, splintered planks, step ladder, numberous articles of clothing and bedding, two large black drums, gallon milk container and one container of dishwashing soap.
Serious debris removal began on May 25 and 26. Little of the diesel fuel was contained or collected.
According to Mary Jane Schramm, spokesperson for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, damage to the reef and wildlife may include:
Physical destruction of the shale substrate (surface areas which support organisms)
Vessel fuel toxicity to reef organisms: mussels, snails, crabs, limpets and burrowing worms may ingest toxins, and in turn be eaten by seabirds and shorebirds
Chemical burn from contact with fuel
Smothering of reef organisms
Toxicity from hydraulic and other mechanical fluids
Toxicity from paint
Toxicity from battery acid
Scouring and scraping off of marine life by the hull and by debris
Loss of insulation through oiled plumage (birds)
Loss of spawning habitat: Surfgrass and kelp are brooding areas for marine invertebrates and fish

Extent and Duration of Damage estimate:
The trajectory of the oil is unknown, and is subject to wind, current and tides; thus, the extent of affected areas is presently unknown
The debris field (area across which debris is scattered) is growing; Farallones Marine Sanctuary Beach Watch deposition data show that, in this region, shoreline debris will redeposit for at least 80 miles to the south and 20 miles to the north of this location.
The full extent of damage to the reef may persist for years
Several government agencies have conducted long-term monitoring of the area, and have baseline data on species present and species potentially affected at and near the wreck site.











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Many locals made the trek the mile and one-half from the dirt road leading to Agate Beach north to Bolinas Point where the ship assumed various positions on the reef and beach as it came apart.d 300 yards up and down the beacb Damage To   -"3F

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