Unified Command established for Pathfinder grounding

VALDEZ, Alaska – The Coast Guard, State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Crowley Marine Services have established a unified command and are working jointly to address the environmental impact and response efforts concerning the grounding of the tug Pathfinder Wednesday evening.

The establishment of a unified command is a way for agencies that share overlapping jurisdictions and responsibilities for an event and can manage the response from a single command post. A unified command allows agencies with different legal, geographic, and functional authorities and responsibilities to work together effectively without affecting individual agency authority, responsibility, or accountability. Under a unified command, a single, coordinated action plan will direct all activities. The incident commanders will supervise a single command and general staff organization and speak with one voice.

Currently, the Coast Guard Cutter Long Island is on scene. Two Coast Guard Aircraft, a C-130 and an MH-60 helicopter have arrived to get aerial views of the situation.

The Valdez Star, an oil response vessel is skimming the water in the vicinity of the light silver diesel sheen. The sheen is 1 to 1.5 miles east of Glacier Island and is approximately 3 miles long and 30 yards wide.

The tug Pathfinder is still anchored and boomed off south of Busby Island. The vessel is no longer sheening and plan developments to lighter the tug Pathfinder are underway at the unified command center.

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