Coast Guard Strike Team Removing Oil from Grounded Mar-Gun

The Coast Guard’s Pacific Strike Team is assisting with oil and fuel removal operations Friday on the grounded fishing vessel Mar-Gun at St. George Island, Alaska.

Factors regarding the sensitive nature of the environment on and around St. George Island have prompted the Coast Guard to mobilize the PST to respond to the pollution threat posed by the grounded 112-foot vessel.

No pollution has been reported.

Six members of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Strike Team arrived Thursday from their home base in Novato, Calif. Additional Coast Guard personnel from Sector Anchorage and District Seventeen are also assisting. The strike team and Navy Supervisor of Salvage will use equipment delivered by a Coast Guard C-130. The team will work to safely remove the 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 668 gallons of lube oil reported to be on board the Mar-Gun.

The Department of Interior and State of Alaska indicates Staraya Beach, on the north end of St. George Island, is home to fur seal and sea lion rookeries and haul-outs as well as many species of marine birds. The beach is also adjacent to an archeological site of a historic Russian Aleutian settlement.

The crew of five of the Mar-Gun was rescued from the vessel by a Coast Guard helicopter Thursday and were delivered safely to St. Paul. According to the crew, they transferred the fuel on board to tanks away from the outer hull in an effort to preempt any discharge before leaving the vessel.

The Mar-Gun is a stern trawler based out of Seattle. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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