Vessel sinks at Harris Harbor

Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011

Juneau Docks and Harbor personnel were alerted to a sunken vessel early Wednesday morning in Harris Harbor and responded to find the 28-foot fiberglass cabin cruiser Sea Wolf sunk at the dock.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

A downtown harbor supervisor said an absorbent boom was placed around the sunken vessel and only a minor oil sheen was observed.

The Department of Environmental Conservation and United States Coast Guard were contacted.

Coast Guard Marine Science Technician Robert Harris was on scene as efforts to raise the Sea Wolf continued into early evening.

“Right now the fuel vents are closed,” Robert Harris said. “So we just want to make sure that no other pollutants occur. The biggest issue right now is safety, we want to make sure everybody understands exactly what their job is and what to do if something does go wrong.”

The Elen C and salvage captain Steve Hamilton and crew maneuvered float bags under the Sea Wolf. The bags would be inflated and a dewatering pump would be put onboard. The Sea Wolf would then be towed to Juneau Marine, hauled out and inspected.

“You can imagine what kind of a day he had,” Salvager Roger Engen said about owner Paul Moran. “It is fun to come down and give someone a hand.”

Moran said he believed the vessel was built in 1983. He said the boat is a total loss.

“It was afloat at midnight,” Moran said. “And this weekend the bilge pump and the breakers were working fine, I don’t know if something happened when the power went out last night. Even with the power off the batteries should have had enough juice in them to keep the pump working.”

Moran has owned the Sea Wolf for three years and says he averages only a once-a-year outing.

“Usually it is just down to Taku Harbor and back,” Moran said. “And to Oliver’s Inlet, that sort of trip.”

Moran said friends have already started calling him the “submarine captain,” and, in good spirits, said anyone interested in some filtered diesel for their furnace they should contact him.

“It was one of those things, you know,” Moran said. “The Harbor Board are really nice folks, but you never want to hear from them. They called up and were apologetic and asked me to get down here. They responded really quickly with booms and the fact is she is contained.”

• Contact Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or

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