Sunken boats recovered but spilled fuel keeps oyster farms closed

Divers on Saturday finally raised two sunken fishing boats  that had been leaking fuel for a month in Jakalof Bay near Homer. But oyster farms in the area have been ordered to remain closed until testing can be conducted, ideally before the spring harvest, reports the Homer Tribune. Meanwhile, the vessels' owner told the Tribune he had lacked funding to repair and maintain the boats, which sank Christmas Day under the weight of a heavy snow.

What residents in the area described as a sizable sheen on sensitive oyster farm waters had diminished by the time the Coast Guard supervised the spreading of a 500-foot boom. Some 12 containers of fuel in various sizes were cleaned from the Leading Lady.

The dive team consisted of five people, one to dive below the surface and fix floatation devises beneath the vessel and other crew for support and contact. Once those were in place, air was pumped into the devises and a heavy-lift crane freighted in on a barge lifted the vessels.

In the original sinking, there were about 50 gallons of diesel fuel and 35 gallons of hydraulics and lubricants aboard the Leading Lady, Barclay had immediately reported to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, which made out the spill incident report.

Read more at the Homer Tribune: Leading Lady spill contained but oyster sales shut down