SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Tug 'Samson Mariner' Sustains Minor Hull Breach After Grounding


February 17, 2017
Friday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan Response Boat-Medium crew and Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan pollution team responded to the tug boat Samson Mariner that ran aground while towing a barge in the vicinity of north Tongass Narrows in Rosa Reef, Alaska, Wednesday evening just before 7:00 PM.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received notification via VHF-FM radio from the captain aboard the Samson Mariner that his vessel ran aground and had a minor breach in the hull. The crew of the tug Samson Mariner immediately deployed sorbent boom after the grounding.

The tug Samson Mariner had a breach of the number 2 port fuel tank through a 1-2 inch gash in the hull. Samson Tug & Barge Inc. reported that the tank contained approximately 5,000 gallons of diesel. Alaska Commercial Divers Inc. applied a patch to the breached hull around 10:05 p.m Wednesday. Approximately 1,100 gallons of diesel spilled from the tug prior to being patched by Alaska Commercial Divers.

Station Ketchikan and pollution responders were immediately launched, arrived on scene, and verified that the crew of the Samson Mariner plugged the breached hull. The Samson Mariner has 30,000 gallons of fuel on board and the barge has 40,000 gallons of diesel on board. South East Petroleum Response Organization (SEAPRO) responded on scene Wednesday night and deployed a containment boom around the tug.

Three Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization tugs took the barge Saint Elias to Ward Cove where it was anchored and assessed for damage and secured.

Wednesday night a Unified Command was formed with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, USCG, and Samson Tug & Barge Inc. to manage the incident response.

Early Thursdsay morning the tug Samson Mariner was refloated, towed, and secured with the barge in Ward Cove. Both vessels were encircled with 1,000 feet of containment boom by SEAPRO.

Following tank soundings made once the tug was safely secured in Ward Cove, Samson Tug & Barge Inc. estimated that 1,100 gallons diesel was unaccounted for in the number 2 port fuel tank. An undetermined volume was contained by sorbent boom, but it is estimated that 600-700 gallons released into the environment. There was an estimated 30,000 gallons onboard the tug and 40,000 gallons on the barge Saint Elias that was under tow.

“We are working closely with our partner agencies to recover as much of the spilled product as possible,” said Capt. Shannan Greene, Coast Guard Sector Juneau commander. “When spilled, this type of diesel spreads quickly into thin films forming patches of rainbow and silver sheens. We expect the sheen to break up within the next 12 to 24 hours, with scattered sheens potentially still visible under the low wind conditions forecast for tomorrow. Although not expected to impact sensitive areas or wildlife, we routinely collaborate with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to mitigate these risks."

The USCG conducted aerial assessments of the sheen in the Tongass Narrows. The NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator made a fate and effects and trajectory assessment. The assessment stated that if the wind picked up as forecasted Thursday afternoon, the sheen would break up relatively rapidly, with scattered sheens potentially still visible under the low wind conditions forecast for Friday. Light refined products, such as diesel (or Fuel Oil No.2), typically have very high evaporation and dispersion rates and do not tend to create persistent slicks.

The 90-foot Samson Mariner belongs to Samson Tug and Barge. No damage to the barge or injuries have been reported.



Reporting & Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:


United States Coast Guard



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