Princess Kathleen dive operations begin

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Unified Command has allowed dive operations to begin on the 369-foot Princess Kathleen off Point Lena starting the dive phase of the assessment operation.

Global Divers Inc., made an initial dive Friday to familiarize themselves with the wreckage and continued Monday using ultrasound equipment to determine the thickness of the hull. The divers identified a route into the boiler room and attempted to identify where the starboard side tanks are.

Global Divers has the ability to determine the hull thickness to 1/1000th of an inch using ultrasound technology. The underwater ultrasound will determine if any corrosion of the Princess Kathleen’s hull or tanks has occurred. Global Divers will drill the tanks to measure the volume of any remaining fuel.

Personnel from the SEAPRO oil response recovery vessel Neka Bay deployed 500 feet of boom north of the Princess Kathleen to capture any possible fuel that may rise to the surface during the dive operations. More than 3,200 feet of boom and 52 anchors are being staged in Amalga Harbor Tuesday; additionally 2,000 feet of boom and 15 anchor systems are staged in Auke Bay on board the Neka Bay and the SEAPRO oil response barge.

Any diving operations will take place with as little impact to the environment and vessel as possible. Any intrusion into the vessel by the divers will only be undertaken if absolutely necessary. Events necessitating entry into the vessel may include: determine fuel volumes, removing fuel if eventually approved by the Unified Command or controlling a discharge should one occur. At the conclusion of the diving operations Global Divers will restore the vessel to its original state to the greatest extent possible which includes repairing any holes in the vessel as well as replacing any artifacts removed for diving safety.

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