Coast Guard, contractors respond to grounded vessel on Kodiak Island, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircrew looks for potential pollution at the site of the grounded 76-foot landing craft Don Quixote at Cape Kuliuk, Kodiak Island, Alaska, Feb. 26, 2019.The two crew members aboard were unharmed in the grounding and able to make it to shore. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircrew looks for potential pollution at the site of the grounded 76-foot landing craft Don Quixote at Cape Kuliuk, Kodiak Island, Alaska, Feb. 26, 2019. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak.

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard is working with contractors to mitigate the pollution threat posed by a vessel that ran aground near Cape Kuliuk on Kodiak Island, Tuesday.

The 76-foot landing craft Don Quixote was intentionally grounded by its operator Tuesday, approximately two miles south of Cape Kuliuk, after it began taking on water with two people aboard.

The vessel remained grounded Wednesday on a pebble beach with an estimated maximum potential of 2,000 gallons of fuel oil onboard.

The Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Contractors for Global Diving and Salvage are scheduled to arrive on-scene Thursday to evaluate the vessel’s seaworthiness and form a Coast Guard-approved plan to mitigate the pollution threat.

“Our job is to ensure the potential for pollution in this situation is mitigated,” said Lt. James Nunez, incident management division chief for Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “Protecting the environment is our top priority.”

A Coast Guard overflight Wednesday morning confirmed minor sheening in the vicinity of the grounded vessel.

The Coast Guard initially launched two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews and a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Coast Guard ir Station Kodiak in response to distress calls made from the Don Quixote. Crews delivered dewatering pumps to help with the flooding.

The cause of the flooding has not yet been verified by the Coast Guard.


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