Coast Guard continues response for tug grounding in the Neva Strait

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Daniel, an aviation maintenance technician at Air Station Sitka, observes an oil sheen surrounding the Western Mariner, an 83-foot inspected tug, in Neva Strait March, 21, 2022. Western Mariner ran aground while towing Chichagof Provider, a 286-foot containerized barge in Neva Strait. No injuries were reported, and all fuel manifolds on board the tug were secured to isolate the ruptured tank. A Unified Command comprised of the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and Western Towboat has been established. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Wereda.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Daniel, an aviation maintenance technician at Air Station Sitka, observes an oil sheen surrounding the Western Mariner, an 83-foot inspected tug, in Neva Strait March, 21, 2022.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Wereda.

KODIAK, Alaska — A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and Western Towboat, continues to lead the response efforts for the grounded tug Western Mariner in the Neva Strait, which initially occurred Monday morning.

The tug owner, Western Towboat, contracted Hanson Maritime, SEAPRO, and Global Diving & Salvage who are currently on-scene and continuing pollution recovery efforts and salvage planning.

A total of 3,000 gallons of diesel has been pumped from a ruptured tank aboard the tug, and approximately 850 gallons of diesel has been recovered from the water within the containment boom area. An estimated 30,000 gallons of diesel remain onboard the tug and will be pumped off prior to salvage operations.

Coast Guard personnel are on-scene to oversee response operations and continue the marine casualty investigation. Natural resource agency and Coast Guard personnel have assessed potential environmental impacts using oil trajectory models and the Coast Guard is consulting with federally recognized tribes in the area.

While transiting from the grounding site to Sitka Tuesday afternoon, a small vessel participating in the response operations capsized due to high winds and rough sea conditions. All four persons were safely recovered with no injuries and the capsized boat was towed to shore.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.

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