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Alaska News

Sunken fishing vessel remains underwater off Sitka coast

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published September 3, 2015

A fishing boat that ran aground Tuesday evening in Sitka remained underwater Thursday as crews made plans to remove around 600 gallons of fuel from the ship.

The 58-foot seiner Pacific Venture grounded on rocks Tuesday evening near Twins Island, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation wrote. A sheen was reported around 7:15 p.m. and Sitka's Marine Safety Department discovered it less than an hour later.

The vessel was resting on its side until 2 a.m. Wednesday, when it rolled over and sank.

A boom was deployed Wednesday to control any fuel spills, and the ship was tethered to the shore.

While 10-30 gallons of oil were released into the water, an additional 600 gallons of diesel fuel and 70 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils remained onboard.

On Thursday, the Pacific Venture was sitting under about 25 feet of water, roughly 1/2 mile from the mouth of the Indian River and 1 mile southwest of Sitka's Jamestown Bay.

Some of the fuel vents had been plugged and other oil and fuels product remained in closed systems, the DEC wrote.

Salvage operations were still being determined Thursday. Global Diving and Salvage Inc., which specializes in marine salvage, will defuel the vessel, DEC wrote.

Crews have been directed to replace saturated sorbent materials inside the boom, while around 600 feet of harbor boom and anchors will be pre-staged at the mouth of the Indian River in response to any potential release.

The U.S. Coast Guard was still investigating why the vessel sank Thursday, the DEC wrote.

No injuries or impacts to wildlife have been reported.

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