Local News

Seiner’s sinking prompts fishery closure

The Coast Guard planned to inspect the waters off western Chichagof Island on Friday morning, after the Thursday sinking of a 50-foot seine boat. A sizable oil sheen after the incident forced an emergency closure of the area’s purse seine fishery.

The approximate location of the emergency closure, relative to Sitka. (Google Maps, KCAW illustration)

Coast Guard Sector Juneau received word yesterday morning that the 50-foot boat Evening Star went down in Slocum Arm, some 40 miles northwest of Sitka. The vessel was reported to have capsized when hauling in loaded salmon nets.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Francis says a good Samaritan vessel, the Chickamene, rescued all five crew members and transported them to Sitka in good condition.

The Evening Star is registered out of Sitka, and according to the Coast Guard, was carrying 1,000 gallons of diesel at the time it sank. The boat is in about 300 feet of water.

Fishery managers called the seining closure after spotting a 3/4-mile oil sheen.

The closure began at 4 p.m. Thursday and affects all the waters of Slocum Arm, Ford Arm, Falcon Arm and Khaz Bay, south of Ninefoot Shoal Light.

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