Army Reserve Landing Craft Strikes Humpback Rock, Grounds on Puffin Island
The 174-foot U.S. Army Reserve landing craft, the Monterrey, struck Humpback Rock in Chiniak near Kodiak Friday night.
The landing craft, assigned to the 481st Transportation Company in Vallejo, California, immediately began taking on water after striking the well-known reef outside of the island's largest town at 10:16 pm.
A U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter was launched at 10:44 pm and at the request of the United States Coast Guard, the vessel grounded itself on nearby Puffin Island.
Two "Good Samaritan" vessels arrived at the scene to assist. One of the vessels, the Peggy Jo, transported two of the crew aboard to shore to recieve medical treatment for minor injuries. The other fifteen crewmembers received no injuries.
Two fuel tanks were damaged in the collision. One damaged tank held approximately 8,000 gallons of fuel. One other 9,000 gallon tank was compromised, but authorities are unsure how much fuel escaped from that tank. The U.S. Coast Guard is estimating the amount of fuel released at 15,291 gallons. The vessel was reportedly carrying 40,000 when it struck the reef.
Two containment booms were deployed around the stricken vessel as it laid beached on tiny Puffin Island. Another containment boom was deployed at the mouth of the Buskin River, one of the many salmon streams in the area.
The vessel was transporting heavy equipment from California to Newtok in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Metervik Innovative Readiness training mission there.
An investigation into the reef strike is still underway.