US Coast Guard responds to fishing boat that ran aground early Sunday morning

A possible fuel spill was avoided today when salvagers drained nearly 500 gallons of fuel from a boat that ran aground in unincorporated Sonoma County, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

 At 1:24 a.m. Coast Guard officials were told that a 54-foot fishing boat ran aground near Salmon Creek Beach, just north of Bodega Bay.

The Verna A II was carrying 475 gallons of diesel fuel and 37 gallons of oil.

A crew from Parker Diving Service removed the oil and fuel at about 6 p.m. after efforts to refloat the boat were unsuccessful, according to Coast Guard officials.

The pilot of the boat was taken to safety before the removal. The boat is near freshwater wetlands neighboring a state Highway 1 bridge.

Parker Diving Service is scheduled to remove the boat from the water on Tuesday. Money for the salvage operation is coming from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is providing $50,000 for the operation, according to the Coast Guard.

The boat is being monitored until it can be refloated. Coast Guard officials said the boat is stable and anchored.