The Coast Guard Sector Northern New England command center in Portland, Maine was notified that the Marley Gabriella sank in about 70 feet of water with nearly 700 gallons of diesel fuel onboard.
No one was aboard the Marley Gabriella when it sank.
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment from Belfast, Maine was dispatched to assess the situation and advise the recovery efforts.
A small sheen was observed in the area, as seepage from the ship’s vents is suspected. The owner contracted commercial divers who made two initial attempts to secure the vents, but weather and nightfall prevented their attempts. Additionally, weather has made booming operations unsuccessful.
The owner is currently making plans for divers to secure the vents and re-float the vessel at 6 a.m. Saturday and place boom around the vessel as weather permits. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is preparing to provide pollution control throughout the evolution. Upon the Marley Gabriella being successfully refloated, it will be dewatered and towed to Billings Marine for repair.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is broadcasting a safety message every four hours to warn nearby mariners of the operation.
“Weather, and now night, has made this a very challenging response,” said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Pierce of Sector Northern New England. “Fortunately, the owner is being exceptionally proactive and we’re primed for a successful operation at first light tomorrow.”
He said they will closely monitor the situation to ensure a safe operation and mitigate any potential pollution.