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Press Release | Aug. 4, 2023

UPDATE: Unified Command stands down after response to diesel spill on Lake Michigan

Aug. 4, 2023

Sector Lake Michigan

Contact: Lt. Heather Stemmerman

(414) 405-6436


UPDATE: Unified Command stands down after response to diesel spill on Lake Michigan

MANISTEE, Mich. — The Unified Command, comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard, the responsible party, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Manistee County Emergency Management, Benzie County Emergency Management, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Manistee and Benzie County Sheriff’s Offices and the City of Manistee, stood down Friday at 6 p.m.

The motor vessel Manitowoc, which successfully completed its transit from Manistee to Muskegon on Friday, is scheduled to complete permanent repairs in Muskegon.

“The total amount of diesel discharged remains unknown. However, based on the observable sheen size and thickness, size of the tank penetration, estimated duration of the discharge and lack of recoverable product in the water, it is likely the amount discharged was minimal,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Heather Stemmerman, Public Information Officer, Unified Command. “Efforts to ascertain the total quantity of diesel discharged are ongoing.”

The shoreline assessment teams, comprised of U.S. Coast Guard, state, local and tribal representatives, and the responsible party, completed a 13 mile survey of the shoreline and beaches, detecting no evidence of recoverable product.

“Through the seamless coordination of dedicated personnel and strategic utilization of response equipment, the team exhibited professionalism and proficiency to swiftly secure the source of the discharge and eliminate the threat to the delicate ecosystem of Lake Michigan,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Seth Parker, Incident Commander, Unified Command.

There are no known impacts to marine wildlife associated with this spill.

The investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.

Requests for additional information may be directed to Sector Lake Michigan’s Public Affairs Officer at (414) 405-6436.