Unified Command continues response to sunken boat off San Juan Island

San Juan County personnel load pallets of boom onto a truck owned by U.S. Department of Ecology, Aug. 22, 2022. The boom is owned by the Islands’ Oil Spill Association, and was purchased in 2021 using funds from the WA State Department of Ecology equipment grant program. This program provides spill response equipment to local agencies in order to better prepare Washington communities for pollution response.

San Juan County personnel load pallets of boom onto a truck owned by the WA State Department of Ecology, Aug. 22, 2022.

SEATTLE — The Unified Command continues its response Monday following the sinking of a commercial fishing vessel resulting in a pollution incident west of San Juan Island, Washington.

Over the weekend, crews on the water and in the air monitored the site for any changes.

Daily overflights have shown the amount of sheening remains minimal. This sheening is originating from periodic venting of diesel from the fuel tanks. Crews added absorbent boom to ensure environmentally sensitive areas are protected in case any sheening moves closer to land. An additional 1,500-feet of boom has been laid along both sides of White Point Peninsula. The total amount of boom laid down is now at 4,300-feet.

A barge and crane are being transported from Seattle to San Juan Island to assist in raising the vessel. Additionally, due to the depth of the wreck, divers are required to use specialized gas mixtures which are currently being produced. Once mixed, the gas must settle and be tested for proportionality, and then shipped to the San Juan Island team. The crane, barge, and gas mixture are estimated to arrive later this week. Once received, removal operations will begin.

Cross border training with Canada’s Marine Mammal Unit is scheduled for Thursday. This team will be utilized in deterring marine wildlife from the area should the need arise. Canadian crews will also assist with by providing overflights of the spill area on Tuesday and Thursday.

Crews continue to monitor the sunken vessel and the Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo is scheduled to remain on scene to assist as needed. To ensure a safe work environment, safety zones extend 1,000 yards around all responding boats. Crews on scene can be contacted directly on VHF marine-band radio channel 16.

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