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Naknek Spirit refloated in Prince William Sound

Date: July 08, 2013 Coast Guard 17th District
Whittier Harbor, Prince William Sound, Alaska
Whittier Harbor, Prince William Sound, Alaska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Update: Coast Guard, Alaska Chadux respond to fuel spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Responders from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Alaska Chadux, and the fishing vessel Naknek Spirit’s crew successfully refloated the vessel on a high tide near Poe Bay in Passage Canal and transited to Whittier for further assessment Saturday afternoon.

Upon arrival in Whittier the vessel was moored and containment boom was placed around it as a precaution. Cargo aboard the vessel was unloaded and the crew is working to repair a 2 to 3-foot gash in the starboard hull.

Alaska Chadux personnel attempted to contain a sheen sighted in the area where the vessel grounded on Culross Island. It was deemed unrecoverable and quickly dispersed. It is estimated that less than 500 gallons of diesel fuel was released. No negative impacts to the shoreline or wildlife in the area have been observed.

“We worked effectively with our partners to respond to this incident, mitigate the effects of the spill and remove the threat of pollution to the environment as quickly as possible,” said Lt. Jason Gangel, chief of response, Sector Anchorage. “We are pleased there were no injuries in this case and we will continue to investigate the circumstances that lead to the vessel’s damage and grounding.”

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received a report from the crew of the 104-foot Naknek Spirit early Saturday that the vessel had run aground with five people aboard and ruptured its starboard fuel tank. The tank was reportedly carrying 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel, but crewmembers managed to transfer 1,500 gallons into an intact tank. The vessel was reportedly carrying an estimated total of 10,000 gallons of diesel and 1,200 gallons of gasoline.

The Naknek Spirit is a tender packer homeported in Homer.

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