Interagency efforts continue for Lone Star response near Dillingham

Coast Guard Alaska NewsANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Department of the Interior and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation continued working with salvage crews and the owner of the Lone Star to remove the sunken vessel from the Igushik River near Dillingham, Alaska, Friday.

Poor daytime weather and equipment delays slowed efforts to cap the Lone Star’s fuel vents, but divers will make another attempt in the evening. The fishery has been temporarily closed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game due to pollution concerns.

“The Coast Guard and our agency partners have been a part of this response since the first reports of the Lone Star’s sinking came in,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Frank Schiano, a pollution responder with Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We understand the impact shutting down the fishery will have while operations are underway, but we have a duty to ensure the safety of both the boaters who use this waterway and the environment. We’re working with the vessel owner and contracted salvage crews to make sure the Lone Star is removed from the river in the safest, most expedient way possible.”

Alaska Chadux Corporation was hired by the vessel owner to mitigate pollution while Magone Marine Service was hired to remove the Lone Star from the river using a three-step plan. Salvage crews plan to seal the vessel’s fuel vents, lighter its fuel onto another vessel and remove the Lone Star from the silt where it sank. Poor weather and strong currents have been largely to blame for delays in the response efforts.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game pilots have provided daily overflights of the vessel since it sank in 18 feet of water Sunday with a reported 35,000 lbs of fish, 14,000 gallons of diesel, 150 gallons of lube oil, 150 gallons of hydraulic fluid and 250 gallons of gasoline aboard. The vessel’s crew was safely rescued by good Samaritans, and the vessel’s owner took financial responsibility for removing the Lone Star from the river.

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