Foss Maritime working with federal, state and local agencies are making preparations to remove more than 22,000 gallons of diesel oil from a barge grounded near the Red Dog mine port about 90 miles northwest of Kotzebue.
Foss, owner of the barge, has sent salvage and environmental experts to the site to assess the best ways to stabilize the barge and remove the diesel fuel from it. The barge went aground yesterday. The team is scheduled to arrive at the remote site later this afternoon. According to Foss, the barge is intact on the beach, despite heavy seas and stormy weather.
The tug Stacey Foss was towing the barge Kivalina Tuesday morning when severe weather caused the towline to part. Winds gusting to 60 knots and seas reaching 20 feet in height pushed the barge onto the beach. The weather prevented the tug crew from reestablishing a tow on the barge. Foss Maritime notified the Coast Guard shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday of the incident.
The U. S. Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and Foss Maritime have
formed a Unified Command to respond to the incident. The National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior, and TeckCominco, owner of the Red Dog mine, are all participating in the response efforts.