Coast Guard directs cleanup after Alaska fishing boat sinks
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is leading cleanup efforts after a fishing vessel sank in a harbor in southern Alaska, releasing an unknown amount of marine diesel and other petroleum products.
The 71-foot (22-meter) Nordic Viking boat sank for unknown reasons last week in Seward Harbor, the Peninsula Clarion reported Sunday.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has estimated that the vessel contained up to 700 gallons (2,650 liters) of marine diesel in the hull tanks and 50 gallons (190 liters) of gasoline in the deck tank. The boat had the capacity to hold 2,000 gallons (7,570 liters) of marine diesel and 500 gallons (1,893 liters) of gasoline.
“The Coast Guard’s main objective is to limit environmental impacts through the containment and cleanup of the release as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Capt. Sean MacKenzie, commander of Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We are working diligently with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and contracted agencies to minimize the impact of this release.”
The Coast Guard has hired Anchorage-based Alaska Chadux Corporation, an oil spill response organization, to address the release. The Coast Guard is using the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to cover immediate costs of the spill, but the responsible party is liable for the expenses associated with containment, cleanup and damages.
No additional discharges have been reported and there are no hazards to wildlife, the Coast Guard said. But the state Department of Environmental Conservation said sea lions and sea otters have been spotted in the vicinity of the spill.
Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com