Dry dock sinks while being towed off California

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

(SAN FRANCISCO) — The Coast Guard responded to a report of a 528-foot dry dock that sank offshore Wednesday, approximately 40 miles west of San Francisco, while being towed.

Personnel aboard the Ocean Ranger, a 111-foot tug, contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watch standers Tuesday afternoon, reporting that the dry dock it was towing was taking on water during its transit from Seattle to Mexico.

Coast Guard watch standers began an hourly communication schedule with the Ocean Ranger crew to monitor the status of the tow and dispatched a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco helicopter to visually assess the situation. The air crew validated the dry dock was listing.

Ocean Ranger’s crew proceeded westerly but eventually had to detach from the dry dock, which reportedly sank about 40 miles offshore around 2 a.m. Wednesday in approximately 3,000 feet of water.

A Coast Guard overflight by a Dolphin helicopter crew was unable to locate the dry dock Wednesday morning.

There were no injuries reported, and fuels and hazardous materials were removed from the dry dock prior to its departure from Seattle.   

The Coast Guard notified California the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the California Office of Emergency Services and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The circumstances surrounding the dry-dock sinking remain under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff