Fuel tank punctured when Alaska landing craft hits heavy seas (UPDATE)

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

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — A unified command consisting of representatives from the Coast Guard, Department of the Interior, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, city of Seldovia and the responsible party formed to respond to a 6,000-gallon diesel fuel discharge into the Gulf of Alaska has completed fuel removal from the damaged tank trailer aboard the motor vessel Thor's Hammer on Tuesday.

Response crews and contractors from Alaska Chadux Corp. removed the 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel remaining in the punctured tank, as well as 28 bags of oily waste collected by the Thor's Hammer crew. The 6,000 gallons of spilled diesel is no longer recoverable due to weathering and evaporation.

A western Alaska captain of the port order required Thor's Hammer to remain in Seldovia until the vessel was cleaned and determined to be safe for transit to Homer. The vessel was later authorized to proceed to Homer where Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Homer personnel are scheduled to conduct a safety examination. The captain of the port order also required the Thor's Hammer to remain in Homer until determined safe for commercial operation. The Coast Guard is currently conducting an investigation into the operations of the vessel.

“Ensuring safe navigation and preventing environmental impacts on the vital waters of western Alaska are two of my highest priorities,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, captain of the port, western Alaska. “As such, our crews have been working closely with other members of the unified command to reduce the risk of further impact to the environment.” 


(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — A 9,000-gallon diesel fuel tank being carried aboard a landing craft was punctured and began leaking Saturday when the vessel encountered heavy seas in Cook Inlet, KTUU News reported. The 116-foot Thor’s Hammer was en route from Seward to Bristol Bay when the incident occurred south of Port Graham. There wasn’t immediate confirmation on how much fuel spilled or was in the water.

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By Professional Mariner Staff