Coast Guard continues response to tug and barge aground in the Tongass Narrows, Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard, in partnership with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Alaska Commercial Divers continue their response to the tug boat Samson Mariner that ran aground and spilled fuel while towing a barge in the vicinity of Rosa Reef in north Tongass Narrows, Alaska, Wednesday evening.

Approximately 1,100 gallons of diesel spilled from the tug prior to being patched by Alaska Commercial Divers Wednesday night.

The Samson Mariner has since been refloated and is anchored in Ward Cove alongside the barge it was towing. A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted an overflight with Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel aboard to determine the extent of any possible sheen or environmental impacts. A sheen has been reported in the area and SEAPRO has been tasked with fuel containment and recovery using boom and absorbent pads.

“We are working closely with our partner agencies to recover as much of the spilled product as possible,” said Capt. Shannan Greene, Coast Guard Sector Juneau commander. “When spilled, this type of diesel spreads quickly into thin films forming patches of rainbow and silver sheens. We expect the sheen to break up within the next 12 to 24 hours, with scattered sheens potentially still visible under the low wind conditions forecast for tomorrow. Although not expected to impact sensitive areas or wildlife, we routinely collaborate with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to mitigate these risks.”

 Current weather on scene is 14 mile per hour winds and calm seas.

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