Coast Guard responds to vessel Diehless sinking in Ward Cove

JUNEAU, Alaska – Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation personnel responded to the sinking of a local vessel in Ward Cove near Ketchikan Monday.

The Coast Guard was notified of the incident around 7 a.m. Responding crews arrived on scene shortly thereafter to observe the motor vessel Diehless submerged with the exception of the bow and the top of the pilot house.

The Coast Guard immediately opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and hired Alaska Commercial Divers, Inc., in order to mitigate environmental damage. The vessel is currently surrounded with protective boom and the Coast Guard is using all necessary assets to remove all oil products from the vessel as quickly and safely as possible.

The vessel owner stated that at approximately 4 a.m. Sunday he awoke to the sound of his bilge alarm going off. The back deck was covered in water and the engine room was also flooded with water. The owner was able to safely abandon the vessel.

The Diehless is a 60-ft wooden hull vessel built in 1916. The owner estimates there is 250 gallons of fuel and other oils on board the vessel. The cause of the sinking is not known at this time.

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