Coast Guard Responded to Sunken Vessel

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Coast Guard Sector Charleston responded to a sinking of a 62-foot commercial fishing vessel in Charleston Harbor Saturday.

Search and rescue crews from Station Charleston safely removed 3 people from the Anna Grace. The vessel sank outside the commercial shipping channel between buoys 19 and 21.

There were no injuries to the 3 persons who were safely returned to shore by the Coast Guard. Containment boom was placed around the vessel to prevent the release of any product remaining on the vessel.

Vessel owner/operators had initially hired pollution responders with salvage capabilities but were unable to procure a contract to effect an appropriate response.

The Coast Guard has federalized the response using funds from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and has hired an environmental response and salvage company to mitigate the threat to the environment. Responders are assessing the sunken vessel and developing a salvage plan to be implemented later this week.

The vessel sunk in approximately 18 feet of water and poses a threat to navigation. Boaters are urged to stay clear of the area and monitor channel 16 VHF for Coast Guard broadcasts.

Coast Guard, Army Corp of Engineers and South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources continue to provide oversight of the salvage and pollution mitigation operations.

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