Responders to raise partially submerged tug at Alaska dock

(JUNEAU, Alaska) — Removal operations for a tugboat partially submerged at the National Guard Dock in Gastineau Channel, Alaska, are scheduled, weather pending, to be conducted later this week and into the weekend.

Melino’s Marine Services, the contracted salvage company, plans to remove the
vessel utilizing a barge and crane system that are currently en route from Bellingham,

The operation is expected to take multiple days pending weather conditions. Once the
vessel is removed, it will be transferred via barge to an out-of-state disposal site.

U.S. Coast Guard photo

Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report on Dec. 29 that tug Tagish was partially submerged with an observed oil sheen at the National Guard Dock in vicinity of the Alaska Marine Lines yard in Gastineau Channel.

Personnel from the Coast Guard, city and borough of Juneau, Alaska Department of
Environmental Conservation, and Melino’s Marine Services were involved in
response efforts.

Containment boom was placed around the vessel to contain any residual oil or
pollution. Melino’s Marine Services utilized divers to plug any holding tank vents to
further secure the vessel from pollution discharge.

“This interagency collaboration highlights the importance of our federal, state and
local partners in mitigating and removing pollution threats from our waterways,” said
Capt. Darwin Jensen, commanding officer, Sector Juneau. “These relationships have
been instrumental to the success of this planning effort.”

On Jan. 9, the Coast Guard federalized the response effort utilizing money from the
Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to secure funding for the removal of the pollution threat.
The vessel owner will remain responsible for the salvage disposal fees.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller