Owner, Coast Guard working to limit environmental effect of sinking boat

Pleasure craft appears to have leaked fuel into Indian Cove

On Monday morning, a boat began sinking in Indian Cove. By Tuesday afternoon, it was still barely afloat and the owner was hopeful that he’d be able to save it.


The Coast Guard has not named the owner of the vessel, a pleasure craft that is estimated at between 30 and 40 feet. Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 1st Class Bill Colclough said Tuesday that the owner is taking his own measures to save his boat and limit the environmental effect of the sinking.

“The Coast Guard will monitor and oversee his efforts and we will assist accordingly and make sure to protect that product on board so it doesn’t pose any threat to the marine environment,” Colclough said.

When the boat began going down Monday morning, Coast Guard authorities observed that there was a sheen to the water around it, suggesting that some fuel might have leaked out. It’s unclear, Colclough said, how much might have gotten into the water but he said there’s about 150 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

Initially the Coast Guard planned to have an outside company, Global Diving and Salvage, come in and handle the situation. Global was expected to come and install boom, which is a floating dam used to contain an oil spill, around the vessel.

Plans changed Tuesday when the owner informed the Coast Guard that he was working to deploy a boom of his own to contain the area. He also said he was planning on working with a tug to recover his boat. The owner was not on board at the time the boat began sinking, and there were not any injuries.

Colclough said the cause of the sinking has not been determined, and that an investigation into it could take a few weeks at least. The owner was expected to start installing the boom on Tuesday afternoon or evening, Colclough said.

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or alex.mccarthy@juneauempire.com.


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