Fishing Vessel Runs Aground near Santa Cruz
Responders are working to remove fuel from the tanks of a 56-foot commercial fishing vessel that ran aground near California’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Sunday.
The grounded vessel, Pacific Quest, is broken up and beached near Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz., with a maximum potential capacity of 1,200 gallons of diesel on board, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The captain of the fishing vessel contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, reporting that his vessel ran aground with only himself and his dog aboard. The two were able to walk ashore at low tide with no reported injuries.
The mariner contracted Tow Boat US to try to refloat the vessel and transport it to Santa Cruz Harbor, but when personnel arrived on scene at approximately 11:20 a.m., they determined the vessel salvage operation to be unsafe due to multiple compartments being filled with seawater.
Since the vessel is only accessible at low tide, Tow Boat US responders returned to the Pacific Quest at approximately 5:30 p.m. and secured the fuel vents to prevent fuel from being discharged.
There have been no reports of impacted wildlife.
Parker Diving and Salvage has been contracted to salvage the vessel. The company is scheduled to begin fuel removal and salvage efforts Monday.
"The Coast Guard and other federal, state and local agencies have established a unified command to ensure a safe and rapid response to the Pacific Quest grounding," said Coast Guard Ensign Kelly Hodges, the federal on-scene coordinator representative for the unified command. "We are working diligently with our partners to minimize impacts to the public and the environment."
Other members of the unified command team include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), Monterey County, Santa Cruz Fire Department and a representative of the vessel owner.