Coast Guard responds to sunken vessel in Chenega Boat Harbor

17th Coast Guard District NewsVALDEZ, Alaska — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez personnel responded to the sinking of the fishing vessel Cape Kasilof in the Chenega Small Boat Harbor Tuesday and continue to monitor pollution response efforts.

The Coast Guard received a report Tuesday afternoon the 33-foot Cape Kasilof sunk in its berth in the Chenega Small Boat Harbor due to excessive snow load. Two 55-gallon fuel drums on the vessel’s deck had been used in place of the vessel’s fuel tanks and a mild sheen was reported around the vessel.

The Coast Guard federalized the case and hired Alaska Marine Response to remove all pollutants on board and contain discharged oil after the Cape Kasilof’s owner indicated his inability to respond to the sinking.

AMR arrived on scene Thursday and deployed containment boom around the vessel. Sorbent pads were placed inside the boom to recover fuel. Divers inspected the vessel, plugged fuel vents and removed one drum of fuel which was punctured and leaking. Sheening appeared to stop once the drum was removed from the water.

Total quantity of fuel discharged is estimated to be approximately 10 gallons of diesel and bilge slops. All fuel on the vessel was recovered with the exception of approximately seven gallons of hydraulic oil in the engine room which could not be safely accessed by the divers. Containment boom is currently anchored in place. MSU Valdez and AMR personnel continue to monitor the situation.

“The Coast Guard would like to remind mariners of a few steps to ensure vessel safety during winter months,” said Lt. j.g. Allie Ferko, MSU Valdez public affairs officer. “Remove snow and ice accumulation and keep the scuppers clear of blockage; check shaft packing for excess leakage; perform routine checks for signs of loose or deteriorating planks on wooden hulled vessels; conduct a routine inspection of automatic bilge pumps; visually inspect all thru-hull fittings for damage or loose connections; remove all unnecessary fuel from the boat if away for an extended period of time and arrange reliable snow removal for the vessel and finger pier.”

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