Former cruise ship sinks at California mooring, discharges oil

(SAN FRANCISCO) — A Unified Command with representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response and the city of Stockton has been formed to respond to a sinking vessel in Little Potato Slough near Stockton.

A report to the California Office of Emergency Services on Wednesday indicated Aurora, a non-operational 294-foot cruise ship permanently moored northwest of Stockton, began to sink in 13 feet of water and discharge pollution. Sheen was observed in the immediate vicinity of the vessel. Containment boom is deployed around the vessel and the city’s drinking water intake pump station. Additional mooring lines were also attached to the vessel to ensure stability.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife photo

An investigation into the source and volume discharged is ongoing. The vessel was not in operation but had recently changed ownership so details about pollution on board during the time of the incident are unknown. Over the next several days, crews will work to maintain the containment boom, recover pollution, and conduct dive surveys to assess the vessel.

The Coast Guard issued a notice of federal assumption and hired Global Diving & Salvage as a contractor to address the pollution, deploy hard boom and assess the status of the vessel. The Coast Guard also established a water safety zone around the vessel to enforce a no-wake zone within the area, which will remain in place over the holiday weekend.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Professional Mariner Staff