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Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team deploys to Lone Star response near Dillingham


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Date: July 13, 2013 Coast Guard 17th District

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team deployed to the response effort to remove the sunken vessel Lone Star from the Igushik River near Dillingham, Alaska, Friday.

Members of the Pacific Strike Team will provide assistance and valuable experience to crews responding to the sunken vessel.

"The Pacific Strike Team is made up of some of the best emergency responders the Coast Guard has to offer," said Lt. Jason Gangel, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. "The Strike Team’s knowledge and expertise will greatly contribute to the unified effort to remove the Lone Star and restore safety to both the local environment and the mariners who use the waterway."

Divers finished sealing the fuel vents aboard the Lone Star, Tuesday, and plan to begin lightering operations once the necessary equipment and vessels are in place.  Overflights performed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game revealed a two-mile sheen Wednesday that had dissipated by Friday.  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game plans to reopen the salmon fishery once it is certain no signs of pollution remain.

Alaska Chadux Corporation was hired by the vessel owner to mitigate pollution while Magone Marine Service was hired to remove the Lone Star from the river.  Poor weather and strong currents have been largely to blame for delays in the response efforts.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game pilots have provided daily overflights of the vessel since it sank in 18 feet of water June 30 with a reported 35,000 lbs of fish, 14,000 gallons of diesel, 150 gallons of lube oil, 150 gallons of hydraulic fluid and 250 gallons of gasoline aboard.  The vessel’s crew was safely rescued by good Samaritans, and the vessel’s owner took financial responsibility for removing the Lone Star from the river.

The Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team is one of three special teams that make up the National Strike Force. The National Strike Force is comprised of a unique, highly trained cadre of Coast Guardsmen who deploy with specialized equipment to hazards throughout the U.S.

More information about the National Strike Force and Pacific Strike Team can be found at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/nsfweb/default.asp.

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