SEATTLE — The Unified Command continues its response Friday following the sinking of a commercial fishing vessel resulting in a pollution incident west of San Juan Island, Washington.
At this time, Unified Command members are moving ahead with coordinated efforts to remove the entirety of the vessel from the seafloor and have it placed on to a barge where the contaminants can then be safely removed. This is the best course of action to ensure the removal of as much pollutants and contamination as possible from the environmentally sensitive area.
The contracted response organization has paused dive operations in order to procure specialized equipment due to the current depth of the vessel. These items need to be brought in from an onshore facility and will require a few days to be brought onsite. Once they are received, dive operations will begin again.
Unified Command members met with the San Juan County council today to discuss current and future response operations. To watch the meeting, click the following link: https://bit.ly/3QJoSug
Crews continue to monitor the situation of the vessel. The vessel remains on the seafloor in an upright position. Coast Guard Cutter Terrapin is scheduled to remain on scene all weekend.
The final disposition of the boat once recovered remains to be determined.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
To ensure a safe work environment, safety zones extend 1,000 yards around all responding dive boats. Crews on scene can be contacted directly on VHF marine-band radio channel 16.
The Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard, Washington State Department of Ecology, San Juan Office of Emergency Management, and the Swinomish Tribe.
An incident-specific webpage has been created by the Washington Department of Ecology. Additional photos of the response can be found on Flickr. Developing updates will also be posted periodically on the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest social media accounts listed below.
- Sept 22: Aleutian Isle no longer significant threat to environment in the San Juan Islands
- Sept. 21 Update: Aleutian Isle on barge, 40 days after sinking to 200-foot depth
- Sept. 20 Aleutian Isle Update: Vessel moved to shallower Mitchell Bay, dewatering and rerigging underway
- Update 10: Further Aleutian Isle lifting operations postponed due to weight
- Aleutian Isle successfully raised to surface; no whales in area
- Lifting of the Aleutian Isle underway
- UPDATE 9: Final preparations underway for lifting fishing vessel Aleutian Isle
- Sept. 12 Update: Aleutian Isle recovery efforts
- Sept 9 Update: Rigging Aleutian Isle for lift will take a few more days
- Sept. 4 Update Aleutian Isle: Wreck cleared of entanglements; rigging begun
- Sept. 2 Aleutian Isle Update: All valves and vents closed off by divers
- Sept. 1: Divers removing netting from wreck of Aleutian Isle
- Aleutian Isle lying on starboard side 200 ft down; TFR extended to Oct. 15
- Boaters asked to abide by safety zone restrictions near wreck site
- Aleutian Isle incident: Equipment on site, recovery will take 10 days once started
- U.S. and Canadian crews conduct transboundary whale deterrents drill
- August 25 Update: No sheen observed
- UPDATE #7: Efforts to bring sunken fishing boat up expected to begin Friday
- IOSA survey to gauge potential IOSA responder availability
- County Council met with response team last week; recording available
- Coast Guard plans to remove entire FV Aleutian Isle from ocean floor
- 10 years ago, SeaDoc Society created a plan used today to keep orcas out of an oil spill
- Coast Guard Update 4: No marine, terrestrial, or airborne wildlife appear to have been affected
- Coast Guard Update 3: Depth of sunken boat increases difficulty for divers, ROV brought in, nets recovered
- Coast Guard Monday evening Update: Boat now in 200 ft of water
- Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to pollution incident after fishing vessel sinks off San Juan Island
- August 13: An "epic" encounter with J, K, and L pods
- Coast Guard Update: Divers on scene assessing possible defueling of sunken fishing boat
- Sunday evening update from Coast Guard about sunken fishing boat
- Opportunity lost
- San Juan County's view of diesel/oil spill situation
- Hotline to report sighting of oiled wildlife - 1-800-22-BIRDS.
- Coast Guard update on diesel/oil spill off of San Juan Island
- Diesel/oil spill off Sunset Point west side of San Juan Island