Oil removal from grounded Mar-Gun continues

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Responders continue efforts to remove fuel from the grounded 112-foot fishing vessel Mar-Gun on St. George Island Monday. Approximately 2,313 gallons of diesel were lightered from the vessel’s port tanks Sunday and another 1,500 had been removed by 3 p.m. today. Work will contiue until dusk.

Weather in the area is reported as 30 to 45 mile per hour winds from the Southwest decreasing to 25 to 30 miles per hour later today. Rain and snow accumulation up to an inch is also expected.

Shoreline assessments continue. No oiling has been reported on the beach. A subsistence sampling program, lead by the state, is being developed. The unified command recommends no subsistence harvests be conducted in the immediate area until the vessel is removed and sufficient sampling can be completed.

To date the 18th century Russian settlement, Staraya Artil, nor the palentological site of the 2,000 year-old marine mammal bones have been impacted. Safeguards are in place to prevent damage to these locations.

“This is a delicate and potentially dangerous evolution,” said Cmdr. Joseph LoSciuto, deputy commander Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, “safety of the responders is paramount in this dynamic and sensitive environment.”

Assessments of the vessel and its stability are on going. Salvage plans are in development. No injuries have been reported.

The Seattle-based Mar-Gun grounded Thursday morning 200-yards off the north end of St. George Island in the Bering Sea. All five crewmembers were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter and delivered to St. Paul. Response efforts to mitigate the pollution potential began immediately.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Individuals with questions regarding subsistence harvesting on St. George Island may contact Gary Folley, Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation 907 262-5210 ext.234.

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