Coast Guard monitors derelict tsunami fishing vessel that has entered U.S. waters
April 04, 2012
The RYOU-UN MARU was sighted by the Canadian coast guard more than a week ago in Canadian waters. The vessel drifted into U.S. waters Saturday and is currently 180 miles west of the Dixon Entrance in Southeast Alaska. The fishing vessel has been drifting unmanned at sea, presumably since the 2011 Fukoshima earthquake and subsequent tsunami which occurred more than a year ago.
Adrift fishing vessel from 2011 Fukoshima tsunami
Due to the vessel’s current location in the busy shipping lanes near the Dixon Entrance, the vessel is a potential hazard to navigation. The potential for a pollution incident is unknown at this time but officials have limited concerns about any biological threats due to the length of time the vessel has been at sea.
“The unlit and unmanned vessel, which was originally being monitored by Canadian authorities, is now drifting through high traffic shipping lanes in U.S. waters and has become a potential threat to mariners,” said Capt. Daniel Travers, D17 chief of incident management. We are tracking the vessel and working with federal, state and local agencies to ensure the safety of the maritime transportation system and the marine environment.”
The Coast Guard is evaluating several courses of action to mitigate any threats to the maritime transportation system and the environment.
A Coast Guard cutter was being deployed Monday to assess the situation and the condition of the vessel and plans on conducting an overflight of the drifting derelict Japanese fishing vessel Ryou-Un Maru, Thursday at 4:30 a.m. with media aboard.
"The Coast Guard has the primary responsibility for response to maritime threats, including hazards to navigation," said Capt. Daniel Travers, Coast Guard District 17 Chief of Incident Management. "This unmanned vessel poses an imminent threat to mariners and the environment. We are coordinating with our federal, state, local and tribal partners to monitor the vessel and to develop an appropriate plan to mitigate the threat to safe navigation."
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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