Divers begin removing oil from Alaska shipwreck

Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010

JUNEAU - Specialized divers have begun removing oil from the Princess Kathleen shipwreck in Alaska after its tanks leaked and oil became trapped within the aging vessel.

The Coast Guard said divers have been assessing the wreck since February. They have identified between 14,000 and 34,000 gallons of heavy bunker oil in 10 of the ship's tanks. Four tanks remain to be surveyed.

Containment booms and response equipment has been moved close to the site as a precaution.

In addition, the Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization will have oil recovery vessels and crews available during all fuel recovery operations.

The Princess Lena ran aground on Point Lena in 1952, and has periodically released small amounts of unrecoverable oil in the years since.

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