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Sept. 20 Aleutian Isle Update: Vessel moved to shallower Mitchell Bay, dewatering and rerigging underway

On Monday, September 19, the Aleutian Isle - the fishing vessel that sank near Sunset Point off San Juan Island on August 13 - was moved to shallower water in Mitchell Bay. Crews successfully connected the Aleutian Isle to the side of the barge before transporting it.  The vessel is partially floating and supported by the barge crane.

Crane, tug and barge September 20, 2022.
Canada Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans photo

At its new location it is easier to completely defuel, dewater and re-rig the Aleutian Isle in preparation to be lifted onto a barge. The depth of the area allows divers to work longer and safer. The area also allows all the operations to be surrounded by boom to reduce the risk of sheen moving away.

A crewmember pumps fuel off the Aleutian Isle, and into a tote 9/20/22. U.S. Coast Guard photo

After the crane barge was secured, crews were able to remove 300 gallons of oily-water mix before operations ended for the day. A new safety zone was established around the new work area with a 150-yard radius that is in place until Sept. 26.

Crews work aboard the Aleutian Isle September 20, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

On Tuesday, operations continued to remove trapped fuel and water. Crews also began re-rigging the vessel in preparation to lift it onto a barge in the next day or two where it will be transported to an on-shore facility. 

Wildlife crews are continuing bird deterrence efforts and assessing areas for any wildlife impacts. The whale deterrence team remains on standby in case killer whale deterrence is necessary.

Wildlife response vessels off San Juan Island September 19, 2022. Soundwatch photo

An Oikoma pipe is handed over

On Monday evening, wildlife response crews did take deterrent action on two transient killer whales when they were close to the operations area  at Lime Kiln. Those crews used oikomi pipes to move the whales out of the area and stayed with the whales until they were beyond the incident area. Deterrence teams remain onsite and on standby during operations to deter any whales in the vicinity of the response.

An incident-specific web page 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.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USCGPNW

Twitter: https://twitter.com/USCGPacificNW

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uscgpacificnw/


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