Oil spill makes way into Harbor River - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Oil spill makes way into Harbor River

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

If you're on the Harbor River near Beaufort Memorial Hospital, you might have noticed a border of buoys near the shore line. That's because on Sunday, hospital staff was told about oil leaking into the river, which stemmed from a leak that began last week.

A hospital spokeswoman says there was a leak in a boiler room last Monday. While that problem was being addressed, apparently some of the oil leaking from that boiler room made its way into the Harbor River.

U.S. Waste Industries is handling the cleanup and potential spread of the oil by placing booms along the shoreline.

Hospital representatives say the booms have absorbent socks that will be replaced with new ones regularly over a 30-day period.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control learned about the oil getting into the water Sunday morning, and the cleanup began shortly after.

One local man fishing near the site says he hopes the leak was caught soon enough, for the sake of local wildlife. ?

"I'm out here this afternoon on my day off work. I'm just fishing to catch fish, and releasing right now, since they had the diesel spill. So I don't get sick or catch any diseases. I guess accidents happen, but I hope they caught it in time, because the fishing in this area is really, really good,” said Norman Dukes, fishing near oil spill. "So far, I caught three black tip sharks, little ones, I had to throw back. And I caught a good-sized whiting that I had to throw back, because I've been leery about keeping them, because I didn't want to get sick from them.”

DHEC released the following statement to WTOC on Monday afternoon:

The hospital has hired a cleanup contractor that has already laid absorbent booms in the Beaufort River in order to contain the spill. The booms are used to soak up as much of the spill as possible.

We continue to monitor the cleanup effort to ensure compliance with our regulations.

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