Friday, August 27, 2010

Three safe after boat hits iceberg, sinks

News here from the U.S. Coast Guard. As best I can tell from state records, the sunken boat is a salmon tender.

Aug. 27, 2010

Boat sinks near Wrangell Narrows, good Samaritans save three

JUNEAU — The Emily Jane, a 60-foot fishing vessel, took on water and sank after reportedly striking an iceberg this morning 200 yards northwest of the Wrangell Narrows entrance buoy.

The Alaska Marine Highway System's motor vessel Taku along with the fishing vessel Miss Barbara responded after hearing the Coast Guard's urgent marine information broadcast. The crew of the Miss Barbara took the three passengers off the Emily Jane and transported them safely to Petersburg with no reported injuries.

Sector Juneau deployed pollution and marine casualty investigators to the scene via Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry to evaluate the situation. Additionally, local Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel from Petersburg have been engaged to assist with the response effort as crews are available.

"Thanks to the fast response of the good Samaritan vessels Taku and Miss Barbara, the three people were able to get off the sinking vessel without injury and avoided a more serious situation," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Adam De Rocher, command duty officer for the Sector Juneau command center. "We encourage everyone out on the water to use extreme caution when transiting the area until the vessel is removed."

The Emily Jane sank with approximately 800 gallons of diesel fuel on board and the owner of the vessel hired Alaska Commercial Divers to plug the fuel vents and boom off the vessel. Salvage operations will commence Saturday.

Weather on scene is 10-knot winds, 2-foot seas and patchy fog.

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