Response to Alaska tug grounding continues

Written by Nick Blenkey
Sheen around grounded tug

Oil sheen around the grounded tug seen at approximately 8:00 a.m, March 23. [Photo: ADF&G]

A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and Western Towboat, continues to lead the response efforts for the grounded tug Western Mariner in Alaska’s Neva Strait, which initially occurred Monday morning.

The tugboat owner, Western Towboat, contracted Hanson Maritime, SEAPRO, and Global Diving & Salvage who are currently on-scene and continuing pollution recovery efforts and salvage planning.

As of yesterday, says the Coast Guard, a total of 3,000 gallons of diesel had been pumped from a ruptured tank aboard the tug, and approximately 850 gallons of diesel has been recovered from the water within the containment boom area. An estimated 30,000 gallons of diesel remained onboard the tug and will be pumped off prior to salvage operations.

Coast Guard personnel are on-scene to oversee response operations and continue the marine casualty investigation. Natural resource agency and Coast Guard personnel have assessed potential environmental impacts using oil trajectory models and the Coast Guard is consulting with federally recognized tribes in the area.

While transiting from the grounding site to Sitka Tuesday afternoon, a small vessel participating in the response operations capsized due to high winds and rough sea conditions. All four persons were safely recovered with no injuries and the capsized boat was towed to shore.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.

Categories: Coastal, Inland, Inland and Coastal, News Tags: , , , , , , ,