Coast Guard responds to sunken fishing vessel in Sitka Sound, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska NewsJUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard is responding to a fishing vessel that partially sank Thursday with diesel fuel onboard in Sitka Sound.

The owner of the fishing vessel Sandra L reported Friday that there is a visible sheen and has deployed absorbent boom. The tanks onboard have approximately 50 gallons of diesel fuel with a potential maximum total of 600 gallons. The owner is in the process of developing a salvage plan for submission to the Coast Guard for review.

The Sandra L is currently partially sunk and visible only during low tide in Redoubt Bay. An overflight Friday morning by a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew reported a visible sheen around the Sandra L.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a radio call Wednesday evening from one person aboard the 41-footer Sandra L, who reported they were taking on water and grounded in the vicinity of Redoubt Bay near Sitka. An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk crew diverted from a training mission to assess the situation and assist as needed. Once on scene, the aircrew lowered a rescue swimmer to assist. A good samaritan vessel nearby, the fishing vessel Laura Lydell, deployed its life raft and embarked the person from the Sandra L safely aboard the Laura Lydell.

The Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The owner of the Sandra L has contracted an oil spill response organization to assist in cleanup operations.

“We are working with the responsible party to make sure they are taking sufficient steps to mitigate any environmental impact,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jay Willimon, supervisor, Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Sitka.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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