Joint response to sunken oil supply vessel at Granite Point oil platform

NIKISKI, Alaska – A unified command has been established in Nikiski to respond to the sinking of the 166-foot motor vessel Monarch adjacent to the Granite Point oil platform 16 miles from Nikiski, Alaska.

The unified command members are the U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Ocean Marine Services Inc. Stakeholders and responders include Union Oil Company of California, a Chevron company (Union), Dept. of Interior, Alaska Chadux, Global Diving and Salvage and Cook Inlet Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council. The team is actively developing a salvage plan for the vessel.

At first light the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory will conduct side scan sonar operations to determine the location and orientation of the vessel.

A light unrecoverable sheen was reported by on scene personnel. It is unknown how much of the 35 – 38,000 gallons of diesel and roughly 2,000 gallons of various lube oils reported on board the Monarch has been released.

According to NOAA 38,000 gallons of diesel would disperse and evaporate from Cook Inlet waters with in 12 hours, the duration of one tidal cycle.

The vessel was transporting six stainless steel totes, three plastic drums and eight steel drums containing various lube oils and chemicals. The chemicals are hazardous and mildly toxic. Anyone locating a tote or drum is asked not to touch it but to report it to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Kenai (907) 283-3606 or CISPRI (907) 776-5129.

The chief engineer of the Monarch was treated and released for contact with diesel fuel and exhaust inhalation.

It was previously reported that only seven personnel were aboard the platform. After confirming with Union, the platform’s owner and operator, it is now known that there were 14 personnel onboard and only seven were evacuated. They are currently seven personnel on board the Granite Pointe platform.

Coast Guard assets, industry tugs, and dive personnel are enroute. The cause of the sinking is currently unknown, but the Coast Guard is investigating. The Monarch, an oil support vessel, is homeported in Juneau but was operated primarily in the Nikiski and Cook Inlet area. The vessel is operated by Ocean Marine Services Inc. of Kirkland, Wash.

Weather in the area is reported as 10 knot winds from the northwest, rain showers and scattered ice pans.

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