Local News

Submersible finds seine boat tangled in own net

A fishing boat that sank earlier this month north of Sitka appears to be tangled in its own seine net.

The Evening Star, a 50-foot seiner, capsized while fishing in the waters of Slocum Arm on Aug. 2. It originally came to rest with its stern about 10 feet below the surface, but later slipped and is now in nearly 400 feet of water.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation reports that Global Salvage sent an unmanned submersible to the wreckage Tuesday. It found the Evening Star lying on its bow and severely entangled in its net. The boat was so tangled that salvage workers need to remove the net before conducting further assessments. They’re worried the submersible could become entangled itself.

Global Salvage told the DEC that the boat is too deep for the diving equipment currently deployed on the scene. A new system will need to be brought in to dive on the wreck.

A mile-and-a-half oil sheen spotted after the vessel slipped has disappeared. Now, responders say only small spots are rising to the surface. Oil containment booms remain deployed at the mouth of nearby salmon streams, but no impacts to fish or wildlife have been reported.

The Evening Star was reported to have 1,000 gallons of diesel aboard when it sank. That’s in addition to 25 gallons of lube oil and a 160-gallon hydraulic oil tank. Officials don’t know how much of it has been released.

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