Coast Guard responding to barge sinking West of Prudhoe Bay

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel are responding to and coordinating response efforts for a flexible self propelled barge that grounded and partially submerged in 9 feet of water while transiting the Beaufort Sea 40 miles west of Prudhoe Bay at 11:55 a.m. Tuesday.

The Stryker was reportedly carrying more than 1,200 gallons of fuel on board. There was an initial report of sheen from the vessel but upon the securing of all fuel tanks that sheen dissipated and is no longer visible.

“The Coast Guard is working with the State and response crews to ensure the safe response to this incident,” said Cmdr. Steven Pearson, Sector Anchorage Chief of Response. “The safety of our response crews and the environment are our top priorities as we continue the response and coordination to salvage the Stryker.”

Sector Anchorage command is coordinating response efforts with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the barge operator and owner Bowhead Transportation Company, a subsidiary of Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation, Pioneer Natural Resources and Alaska Clean Seas which has been contracted for the response.

The ADEC has directed response crews to encircle the vessel with containment boom to capture any release of fuel and to position skimmers in the area as a precautionary measure. Additional boom has been staged for immediate deployment if necessary to protect sensitive shoreline areas.

One Crowley tug is on scene with a second underway to provide 24-hour monitoring of the vessel.

Joint efforts are underway to implement a fuel lightering and vessel salvage plan.

The Stryker crew has been safely recovered with no injuries reported.

Barge Sinking in Prudhoe Bay

photo courtesy of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

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