Vessel sinks at the dock in Valdez, Coast Guard responds

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Coast Guard personnel in Valdez are monitoring the salvage of the 60-foot pleasure craft Ginny Lee that was reported sunk at the dock in the Valdez small boat harbor Saturday at 11 a.m. by the Valdez habormaster.

A minor sheen was observed in the area of the vessel. Coast Guard personnel assisted the Valdez harbormaster in applying containment boom and sorbent pads 35 minutes after the report was received. The vessel reportedly has 50 gallons of diesel and 45 gallons of lube oil on board.

R and R Diving has been contracted by the Coast Guard to conduct oil clean-up and removal operations. The divers have conducted a salvage assessment of the vessel and plugged the starboard fuel vent. The vessel is listing making the port fuel vent inaccessible; however, no fuel appears to be leaking from the vent.

R and R Diving began preparations on Sunday to raise the vessel. The vessel will be raised today using air bags after a final review and approval of the salvage and site safety plans by Cmdr. Darryl Verfaillie, the Captain of the Port for the Prince William Sound area and the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the incident. Verfaillie is also commander of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Valdez.

“This is the kind of incident that highlights the need for a designated caretaker in the owner’s absence, ” said Cmdr. Darryl Verfaillie, commanding officer Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez. “Had someone been regularly checking on the vessel this incident may have been prevented.”

R and R Diving in cooperation with the Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation continue to monitor and respond to any release of oil or recoverable sheen.

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