Barge sinks at Sitka despite dewatering efforts

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard is monitoring a 140-foot barge that sank in Sawmill Bay, Sitka early Friday.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a report at 4:45 a.m. that a barge owned by Allen Marine was taking on water and had partially submerged.

The Sitka Fire Department responded and set up dewatering pumps on the barge. The pumps were unable to keep up with flooding and have since been removed.

“Our primary concern is ensuring that this barge doesn’t pose a threat to the local environment and we are working closely with Allen Marine to develop a salvage plan to refloat the barge,” said Lt. Ryan Erickson, chief of incident management, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “We’d also like to thank our partners at the Sitka Fire Department for their quick response and assistance this morning.”

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Sitka and Sitka Fire Department personnel are on scene and continue to monitor the situation

The depth of the water at the location is approximately 15-feet and there have been no reports of injuries or pollution at this time.

By Professional Mariner Staff