No Spill Detected So Far Near Grounded Tug

Thursday, November 15 2012

(Courtesy Magone Marine via the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation)

So far there have been no signs of a spill after a tug and barge went aground between Cold Bay and Sand Point. Five crewmembers from the tug "Polar Wind" were rescued.

The owner, Northland Services, has joined a Unified Command team to respond to the grounding. The tug and barge were carrying more than 23,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The barge was also carrying 90 refrigerated containers, and 30 of them were full of frozen fish.

At last report the vessels were still upright, and there wasn’t an oil sheen in the area. Steven Russell with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says responders will continue to monitor the situation closely since the tug and barge are still in a vulnerable position.

"They’re pretty exposed to the southeast at that location, and there’s a couple of sensitive areas around there with sea otters and sea lions," says Russell.

Northland has hired a diving company to help with the salvage and contracted with a spill response organization in case they are needed.

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