A unified command including the Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife
, the Alaska Department of Environmental
(ADEC), Crowley Marine Services, and FOSS Environmental Services, today continued waste removal operations on a Japanese squid catcher that ran hard aground on Afognak Island November 10.
The contractors continue to work to remove the hazardous and solid waste aboard the vessel but will not be salvaging the 97-ft. vessel. After reviewing the salvage assessment the Federal On Scene Coordinator and the State On Scene Coordinator determined that salvaging the vessel at this time isn’t feasible. “We will continue to remove the hazardous materials, oils and other solid waste,” said Capt. Ron Morris
, Federal On Scene Coordinator. “Salvaging the Genei Maru would be a protracted, dangerous and expensive undertaking.”
The owners of the vessel, KK Yamatsu Anichi Shoten, are still responsible for removing the Genei Maru from the beach. Abandonment of the vessel on state tidelands or submerged lands is not authorized and is considered trespassing. “As long as we have open communications and the company works with us to remove the boat, we don’t typically levy fines,” said Leslie Pearson, State On Scene Coordinator.
Weather conditions hampered waste removal operations today. The on scene weather was reported as a gale warning with winds gusting 30- to 45-knots and snow and rain. Five FOSS Environmental Services personnel were taken by helicopter to the site, however they were unable to stage any equipment or complete any work.
To date about 7,500 gallons of fuel oil was removed from the Genei Maru No. 7, with an estimated 4,500 gallons of fuel oil and lube oils remaining. Officials estimate about 12,000 gallons has escaped or been released into the water since the vessel ran aground.