According to a report from the Traverse City Record-Eagle, the Northport Village Marina, about 20 miles north of Suttons Bay, was shut down around 5 p.m. Sunday after the leak was noticed. The leak was estimated at between 10 and 30 gallons.
Harbormaster Bill Rosemurgy told the Record-Eagle that 30 gallons may not sound like much but that diesel spreads faster than other gasoline because it has an oilier nature.
Allen told the Record-Eagle that he was unaware of the leak until someone notified him as they were pulling in. Allen believes a fuel filter gasket blew while the boat was passing around Omena Bay, just to the south of the marina.
Leelanau Township Fire Chief Hugh Cook said with the broken filter, fuel spilled into the engine compartment and was eventually pumped into the water by the boat’s bilge pump.
“I felt very uncomfortable closing the harbor down for everybody,” Allen told the Record-Eagle.
Allen told the Record-Eagle that the spill didn’t appear to affect any local wildlife, but other visitors contradict that story, reporting seeing several dead ducklings and fish in the area.
The marina reopened late Monday. The nearby beach will remain closed until the cleanup is finished and environmental tests confirm the water is safe for recreation.
Allen, 69, is a popular actor who has put his Michigan pride on display. Allen and his family moved to the state when he was a kid and he attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. He started his career as a stand-up comedian and worked his way into several leading acting roles, including the main character on the ABC series “Home Improvement” — which was set in Michigan — and as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the “Toy Story” movies.
Rosemurgy told the Record-Eagle that Allen will be responsible for the full cost of the cleanup.