Salvage vessel arrives to grounded American Way

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Coast Guard continues monitoring the salvage operation as the salvage vessel Redeemer arrived on scene at 1 a.m. Thursday beginning a salvage assessment of the 38-foot fishing vessel American Way grounded 50 miles southeast of Chignik, Alaska.

A salvage plan will be submitted for review and approval to the Coast Guard following the completion of the assessment. The Coast Guard is working cooperatively with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of the Interior.

A Coast Guard C-130 crew sighted the American Way partially submerged and leaning on its port side Wednesday.

Some debris was seen in the area, including small container boxes, line and other small items washed from the deck. There was a non-recoverable diesel sheen reported by the C-130 crew extending approximately 250 yards away from vessel on Tuesday. The Wednesday over-flight revealed that the sheen had dissipated through natural evaporation and was broken up by heavy wave action in the area.

The Coast Guard was notified that the vessel had grounded on Aghiyuk Island, Alaska, the northern most of the Semidi Islands, due to a loss of engine power and heavy icing Sunday. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter launched from Air Station Kodiak rescued the vessel master Jim Brewer, and crewman Jay Kingsley and delivered them safely to Chignik.

An investigation is currently underway. Initially a total of about 700 gallons of diesel was reported to be on board the vessel. It is unknown at this time how much of that initial amount remains.

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