Command set up to assess oil sheens

Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010

JUNEAU - The Coast Guard and the state of Alaska have set up a unified command to further assess an historic shipwreck as a source of oil sheens in the Juneau area.

The 369-foot Princess Kathleen, a passenger liner, wrecked off Lena Point in 1952 with an estimated 155,000 gallons of fuel on board. Officials believe they have traced the oil sheens back to the Princess Kathleen as the source.

The vessel has for years periodically released small, unrecoverable oil sheens.

The guard and state environmental officials both said divers will need to further examine the ship to determine how much fuel remains on board and the risk of further pollution.

The Princess Kathleen was a Canadian Pacific Railroad vessel built in 1925. It went aground and sank northwest of Juneau in 1952 with no loss of life.

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