3,500 gallons of fuel spilled in grounding

Four rescued after fishing vessel runs aground near Valdez

Posted: Monday, July 23, 2007

ANCHORAGE - A fishing vessel spilled at least 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel into the waters south of Valdez after a hard grounding, Coast Guard officials said Sunday.

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All four people on board the seiner Nordic Viking escaped without injury and found shelter aboard another fishing boat nearby, the Seabrooke, according to Chief Petty Officer Barry Lane. The grounding occurred late Saturday night.

Officials from the Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation headed out to the boat 25 miles south of Valdez to assess the cause and extent of the damage, said Lane.

One of the nine fuel tanks on board the 127-foot vessel was confirmed to be breached, according to a Coast Guard statement. At least 3,500 gallons, and as many as 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked.

The fuel slick near Olsen Bay and Port Gravina was about a quarter mile long and a quarter mile wide, said Petty Officer Jeremy Dawkins.

"As far as significance of the spill, it's not large, but it's definitely in need of Coast Guard response," Lane said.

The light blue boat is owned by Northern Seiners Inc., based in Kodiak, according to the Coast Guard. Calls to the company's office late Sunday were not immediately returned.

Alaska Chadux Corp. has been contracted to coordinate a clean-up effort, Lane said.

Another Coast Guard overflight is planned for today and more details will be released then, Dawkins said.

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