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Coast Guard, State Continues Unified Command Response for F/V Akutan near Unalaska

The fishing vessel Akutan in Captains Bay near Unalaska. A unified command was established to mitigate potential pollution and environmental impact from the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo

The fishing vessel Akutan in Captains Bay near Unalaska. A unified command was established to mitigate potential pollution and environmental impact from the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo


The United State Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the city of Unalaska and Resolve Marine Services continue in their response to the 166-foot fishing vessel Akutan near Dutch Harbor coordinating removal of anhydrous ammonia and several other petroleum products from the boat in danger of sinking.

Earlier in the month, the Akutan experienced mechanical issues and sought shelter in Captain’s Bay. It has remained there at anchor with its conditions deteriorating.

It was determined that the vessel’s owners and operator had not taken adequate steps to prevent a potential pollution incident, and so response operations were put in place. Resolve put in place 400-foot of oil boom around the Akutan and provided fuel for generators.

On Friday and Saturday, responders managed to remove approximately 5,000 gallons of oily bilge water and 1,200 gallons of oily mixture from the vessel’s slop-tanks. Then, on Saturday, the electrical system aboard the vessel shut down. As a result, the anhydrous ammonia levels aboard began to rise. Power was successfully restored and control the levels. A four-man crew from Resolve remains with the vessel with a small boat alongside as a safety precaution.

“Removing some of the product over the weekend has improved the stability of the vessel,” said State On-Scene Coordinator Geoff Merrell, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. “We continue to work together to ensure minimal impact on the public and the environment.”