Coast Guard responds to fuel spill near Haines

Benjamin S. Brasch

A sunken 76-foot fishing vessel was spilling fuel into Portage Cove outside of Haines Harbor Saturday afternoon, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The vessel Neptune was moored at Haines Harbor when it started to sink Saturday morning, the Coast Guard said. It is owned by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, according to Phil Benner, Haines harbor master. Authorities don't know how much of the vessel's 2,000 gallons have let loose. Boom has been placed around the vessel to contain the fuel, according to a Coast Guard press statement.

Benner said the Coast Guard Sector Juneau and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation got to the harbor at 12:30 p.m. to assess the situation and oversee clean-up.

Only the ship's mast is visible in high tide, he said.

He doesn't know why the ship sank. It is unclear how much oil had spilled by mid-day Saturday, but the ship will be salvaged.

Ocean Beauty Seafoods has contracted SEAPRO to clean up the oil, Benner said.

No one, including the ship's captain, Don Axelson, was hurt, he said. No one from Ocean Beauty Seafoods was immediately available for comment.

Please check back for updates.

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