Bailey Barco crew assists mariners with submerged vessel near Mitkof Island, Alaska

KODIAK, Alaska – The Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco (WPC 1122) crew assisted the fishing vessel Heather Anne crew when their vessel began taking on water in the Wrangell Narrows, near Mitkof Island, Alaska, Friday.

All three people were reported to have been safe on Mitkof Island and are not in distress.

At 6:59 a.m. Friday, Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received notification from the Heather Anne reporting the vessel had run aground and was sinking in vicinity of Mitkof Island in the Wrangell Narrows with three people aboard. All personnel were reported to have made it to shore via skiff. Sector Juneau issued a marine notification and launched the Bailey Barco crew to assist.

At 8:49 a.m., the Bailey Barco arrived on scene and their crew provided dewatering pumps in attempts to mitigate the potential discharge and impact to the waterway. Due to the current and the vessel being completely flooded, dewatering efforts were unsuccessful. Bailey Barco crew members remained on scene throughout the day and continued to assist.

There is potentially 200 gallons of diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid reported to be on the vessel. Minor sheening has been reported in the vicinity of the vessel but there have been no signs of impact to the hatchery. Sector Juneau has assumed pollution response efforts and opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Additionally, Sector Juneau has contracted a response organization to stabilize the vessel and to mitigate the pollution.

The Coast Guard urges all mariners transiting through the Wrangell Narrows to proceed with caution.

Weather on scene was 12 mph winds and overcast skies.