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Harveys Lake boaters try to keep the waters safe and clean

Officials say Saturday's fuel spill at the marina left boaters stranded for several hours

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Officials are still investigating Saturday's fuel spill that shut down the marina at Harveys Lake for several hours. While boaters were back out there Sunday enjoying the beautiful weather, Newswatch 16 caught up with on precautions they take to ensure it doesn't happen to them.

Ron Robinson of West Pittston was out with his family enjoying the perfect lake weather Sunday. But he says they almost went boating one day earlier.

"It's a good thing we didn't,” he said, “because everyone got kicked out of the water anyway."

Officials say a fuel leak shut down the marina, owned by Grotto Pizza, at Harveys Lake – leaving boaters stranded for several hours.

"We heard that the marina had a leak, Robinson said, “and we were actually worried we weren't going to be able to come out here today."

But luckily, it was all hands back on deck by Sunday -- when none of the residue, which was evident on Saturday, could be seen.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says there were mainly pockets of oil seams in different parts of the marina and along the shoreline.

We asked boaters what they do to keep things safe and clean before hitting the water.

"Before we unload the boat,” Robinson said, “we just make sure the gas lines are connected right, all loose ends are tight and everything."

Robinson says he just started boating this year – but from his research, learned that general maintenance is key.

"To make sure a fitting isn't old or destroyed and then next thing you know you're leaking the whole time and you don't know it,” he said.

Allison Fedder of Bloomsburg says like cars, boats have engines.

“There's all of those fuels that could seep into the water if we didn't pay attention to it,” she said.

But unlike with a car, all those fuels could end up in the water.

"Then we have to worry about polluting all of that for everybody else. So we just want to take probably more precautions than you would in a car,” Fedder said.

Fedder says her husband checks everything before the boat even leaves the garage.

"Make sure there's nothing leaking out of it, all the seals are in.”

Meanwhile, Paul Adams, who's been boating for about four decades now, says it’s harder for oil to spill out of an inboard engine like he has.

"The fuel ports are upward facing, so everything goes down in, and you're not gonna rock the boat and spill out the fuel,” he said.

Meaning he's got fewer worries:

"Other than making sure that I don't drop the cap off the boat."

Boaters say it's worth the extra precautions before hitting the water.

The investigation is now in the hands of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

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