Monarch response continues, incident command post demobilizing

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Sonar capabilities are being staged on the Granite Point oil platform today in Cook Inlet to monitor the offshore supply vessel Monarch that remains submerged just south of the platform.

A side scan sonar and a fixed beam sonar are being installed on the platform. Both sonar are designed to be deployed and recovered from the platform because sustained deployment in the inlet could result in ice damage to the units.

Over the previous three days imagery indicates that the vessel is stationary and no longer moving. Global Diving and Salvage in cooperation with naval architects are assessing if the tidal forces on the vessel in its present position and orientation are substantial enough to move the vessel from its current location. Their assessment is being sent to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center for additional review.

The motor vessel Champion is maintaining an oil response capability onboard and additional equipment is available at the OSK Lines dock in Nikiski, 16 miles away. At this time the Champion is also retaining their side sonar scan capability.

Divers plan to affix transponders to the hull of the vessel to monitor the status of the vessel when weather and ice conditions will permit the evolution to take place safely.

A long-term monitoring plan is being developed and will be approved by the Unified Command today. The monitoring will allow the salvors time to develop a suitable removal plan. Removal is expected to take place when ice conditions no longer present a safety hazard to responders or operations.

The incident command post in Kenai will be demobilizing today but the Unified Command plan to hold weekly teleconferences to keep up to date on the situation.

A non-recoverable sheen was last sighted Saturday. No additional pollution has been seen since. After the completion of the interview with the vessel’s chief engineer the fuel and lube oil estimates have been revised to 34,000 gallons of diesel and 700 gallons of lube oil were reported to be aboard the vessel when it sank.

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 Ocean Marine Safety Inc. (907) 776-3685.

An investigation into the sinking by personnel from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage is continuing.

The Monarch sank Thursday. All seven crewmembers safely evacuated the vessel to the Granite Point oil platform and were then transported to shore.

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