Oil spill from Tim Allen’s yacht closes Michigan marina
A yacht belonging to actor Tim Allen has forced the closure of a marina in Michigan, in the Great Lakes area of the Midwestern United States, after a diesel spill over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Local authorities have confirmed that the ship accidentally spilt between 30 and 50 gallons of fuel in the Northport marina, as a result of a faulty fuel filter. The marina remained closed for around 12 hours on Sunday (3Jul22), with a beach nearby also closed for the day. Both have now re-opened.
The actor is known for voicing the Buzz Lightyear character in the Disney-Pixar Toy Story film franchise and starring in the American television sitcom Home Improvement.
Officials told media that the spill was reported around 5pm on Sunday, when the yacht pulled into the marina.
“He didn’t know what was happening until he pulled into the marina,” Hugh Cook, Leelanau Township fire chief, tells M Live.
“He himself pulled the fuse on the bilge pump so it wouldn’t eject any more fuel. So, he did a lot of things right himself.”
Allen told reporters at The Record-Eagle (https://www.record-eagle.com/) that the fuel filter gasket popped out while taking the boat around Omena Bay, and the faulty seal allowed the engine compartment to fill with diesel until the bilge pump activated. The fuel was then dumped into Lake Michigan. Allen says that he did not know fuel was leaking until it was pointed out to him.
“I felt very uncomfortable closing the harbour down for everybody,” Allen says.
Dockhands at the marina quickly surrounded the vessel with an oil-absorbing boom and pads, helping to isolate the spill within the marina. Northport harbour master Bill Rosemurgy told reporters that the wind direction helped to contain the spill, but adds there was a “heavy sheen throughout the entire harbour.”
Witnesses told the Record-Eagle they saw several dead ducklings, carp and pike in the marina after the spill, however, Leelanau Township Fire Chief Hugh Cook has stated the spill has not seemingly affected any wildlife.
Officials with the US Coast Guard and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy have confirmed Allen will be financially responsible for the cleanup costs. No fines will be issued because the spill was small, accidental, and caused by a mechanical problem.