Written by Jen Finn
TARPON SPRINGS - The smell of diesel fuel lingers in the air near the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs.
Crews are cleaning up what is left of more than 6,000 gallons of fuel that was on board the Skye Marie shrimp boat when it caught fire and sank last week.
The charred fishing vessel is blocking businesses along the Anclote River. A spokesperson for Florida Fish and Wildlife said it is their job to ensure the Skye Marie is moved and the environment is protected.
Longtime shrimper Billy Harris owns the Skye Marie. He does not have insurance and said he cannot afford to move the boat. He also said he cannot afford to pay for the extensive clean-up. The clean-up got more complicated after Monday morning's high tide.
"The high tide shifted pocket of fuel that was in the forward part of the vessel. That fuel then, it was an undetermined amount, but it did come to the surface," said Michael De Nyse, a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard. "We noticed it and we attacked it quickly and got SWS environmental services on scene. They were contracted to then collect that fuel that rose to the surface."
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