Work continues to recover fishing vessel Mar-Gun from St. George Island beach

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Operations continue to prepare the 112-foot fishing vessel Mar-Gun for recovery from Staraya Beach on the north end of St. George Island in the Bering Sea.

Non-integral items are being removed from the vessel and a team comprised of commercial and Coast Guard salvors is working to rig the vessel for recovery. This includes some welding and repairs, the removal of the nets, removal of the rudder and deicing. The team anticipates recovery from the beach to take place this month. Once afloat the vessel will be towed to port for repair.

Responders removed 19,000 gallons of diesel and 660 gallons of lube oil from the vessel in March. Work to ready the vessel to be pulled from the beach has progressed over the last few weeks.

Responders have worked amidst and have been hampered by harsh spring weather conditions including rain, snow, freezing spray and winds of more than 50 miles per hour. The sea ice has retreated to just off shore.

The Coast Guard, State of Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation and the vessel’s owner have been working cooperatively as a unified command with local salvage experts and the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Force to limit the potential pollution threat from the vessel and recover it from the sensitive habitat.

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 neither 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.

The Seattle-based Mar-Gun grounded March 5 200-yards off the north end of St. George Island. All five crewmembers were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter and delivered to St. Paul. Response efforts to mitigate the pollution potential began immediately.

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