Alaska landing craft intentionally grounded after taking on water


The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:


(KODIAK, Alaska) — The Coast Guard verified the refloating of the landing craft Don Quixote without incident during high tide Thursday, about two miles south of Cape Kuliuk on Kodiak Island.

An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew on an overflight did not observe any sheening or discharge and confirmed the vessel appeared stable.

Don Quixote crewmembers repaired leaks and lightened the load on board before the successful refloating attempt.

The Coast Guard has allowed the vessel to resume operations and determined that a substantial threat to the environment has been mitigated.

"Despite some minor, unrecoverable sheening reported yesterday, this is otherwise the best case scenario for all involved," said Lt. James Nunez, incident management division chief for Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. "When a grounding occurs we take immediate action to ensure safety of the mariner and to protect the environment. While the response phase is now complete, our investigators will look into all the factors that led to the grounding."


(KODIAK, Alaska) — The Coast Guard is working with contractors to mitigate the pollution threat posed by a vessel that ran aground near Cape Kuliuk on Kodiak Island on Tuesday.

The 76-foot landing craft Don Quixote was intentionally grounded by its operator Tuesday, approximately two miles south of Cape Kuliuk, after it began taking on water with two people aboard.

The vessel remained grounded Wednesday on a pebble beach with an estimated maximum potential of 2,000 gallons of fuel oil on board.

The Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Contractors for Global Diving and Salvage are scheduled to arrive on scene Thursday to evaluate the vessel's seaworthiness and form a Coast Guard-approved plan to mitigate the pollution threat.

"Our job is to ensure the potential for pollution in this situation is mitigated," said Lt. James Nunez, incident management division chief for Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. "Protecting the environment is our top priority."

A Coast Guard overflight Wednesday morning confirmed minor sheening in the vicinity of the grounded vessel.

The Coast Guard initially launched two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews and a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Air Station Kodiak in response to distress calls made from Don Quixote. Crews delivered dewatering pumps to help with the flooding.

The cause of the flooding has not yet been verified by the Coast Guard.

Click here to see an overflight video.

By Professional Mariner Staff