Updated 5 p.m., 09-07-15
Mike Wortman, supervisor of the Marine Safety Detachment in Sitka, says much of the fuel on board the vessel has been removed. Global Diving, a dive contractor, led the operation.
“[Global Diving] recovered about 500 gallons of oil, including diesel, hydraulic, not to mention the batteries on board,” said Wortman.
Salvage operations are expected to begin on Wednesday (09-09-15).
UPDATED 5 p.m., 09-04-15
The 58-foot wooden seiner that sank in Sitka on Wednesday (09-02-15) has settled on the rock it grounded on and is considered stable. According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the fuel on board the F/V Pacific Venture is “mostly contained.”
A Unified Command responding to the vessel estimates it spilled 10-30 gallons of oil, ½ a mile from the mouth of Indian River.
Global Diving, a dive contractor, is expected to begin lightering operations this afternoon. A 60-foot landing craft, Seamount, will be used for the staging of divers and the temporary storage of recovered oil. In the event of a further spill, 600 feet of harbor boom remain staged at the mouth of Indian River.
The Unified Command is still looking for a salvage company to raise the vessel in the coming days.
UPDATED 5 p.m., 09-03-15
A 58-foot seiner that sank yesterday (09-02-15) is now estimated to have spilled 10-30 gallons of oil in Sitka waters. The incident took place half a mile from the mouth of Indian River.
The Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization (SEAPRO) and local responders deployed booms around the vessel to contain the spill. SEAPRO also plans to pre-stage 600 feet of boom, in case more oil is released.
The owner, William Manos, reports that 600 gallons of diesel fuel and 70 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils were on board the F/V Pacific Venture at the time of the sinking. According to the Coast Guard, fuel vents on the port side of the vessel have been plugged and other products remain in closed systems. A dive contractor will arrive in Sitka today (09-03015) to assess the situation and potentially remove fuel from the vessel, lessening the risk of pollution.
A Unified Command has formed to take care of clean-up, that includes the Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the National Park Service, Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Manos, the vessel’s owner.
The Pacific Venture ran aground Tuesday evening, rolled over, and sank in 25 feet of water Wednesday morning. No injuries have been reported, and there have been no confirmed reports of impacts to wildlife.
“Responders are working diligently to minimize the impact on the environment and the community,” said Bob Mattson, State On Scene Coordinator. The cause of the grounding is currently under investigation.
UPDATED 5 p.m., 09-02-15
Yesterday evening (09-01-15), a wooden seiner ran aground in the vicinity of the Twins Island, roughly 0.5 to 0.75 nm off the mouth of Indian River. The F/V Pacific Venture later sunk.
Petty Officer Allison McKim with Air Station Sitka said the Coast Guard did a flyover of Jamestown Bay at 6:30 p.m., but did not see a fishing vessel. The Coast Guard was officially alerted to the Pacific Venture at 7:15 p.m.
According to a situation report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the Pacific Venture initially grounded on rocks at 7:15 p.m., resting on its side. Sheening was reported at 8 a.m. Marine Safety Detachment Sitka estimates 5 gallons of diesel fuel was released in that grounding.
The Pacific Venture then rolled over at 2:00 a.m. today (09-02-15) and sank in approximately 25 feet of water. Investigation into the cause of the grounding is ongoing. The vessel is secured with a line to keep it from drifting away from the Twins.
The vessel owner, William Manos, contracted with the Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization (SEAPRO) for cleanup operations. A salvage plan is also under development.