June 17, 2010
Jonathan Wilkie, Derrick Branson and Joshua Zimmerman, Seward residents, were rescued after Coast Guard Sector Anchorage Command Center received a call for help at 3:15 a.m. and immediately launched the Station Valdez rescue crew.
U.S. Coast Guard photos courtesy of Station Valdez
After reporting the vessel was taking on water, Wilkie, owner and operator, and his crew brought their vessel to the shore where they securely anchored and then abandoned ship. The crew used a small skiff on board to safely transit to the beach and await rescue.
Following the rescue of three crewmen from the Seward-based 58-foot fishing vessel Copasetic Thursday Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez dispatched personnel to assess the damage done to both the vessel and the environment.
Investigators have determined the vessel's five fuel tanks remain intact although there is a visible rainbow sheen immediately surrounding the vessel from bilge runoff out of the bow. The crew of the Copasetic reported no more than 1,000 gallons of diesel and 400 gallons of gasoline were aboard the grounded vessel.
The Copasetic grounded in the Valdez Narrows at the northern entrance of Jack Bay while making its way back into Port Valdez Thursday morning at approximately 3:15 A.M. A Coast Guard Station Valdez small boat rescue crew safely recovered three fishermen off a beach after the vessel sustained substantial damage to its bow.
R&R Diving has been contracted to carry out pollution response and salvage of the vessel and will be on scene Thursday afternoon. They are currently underway for Jack Bay with booming equipment.
There were no reported health concerns or injuries with the three rescued fishermen.
The fishing vessel grounding has not impeded vessel traffic in the area, the port of Valdez and the Valdez Narrows remain open.
Wilkie is arranging to safely remove the vessel from the shore.
The cause of the incident is still under investigation. by the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez and the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez will monitor vessel salvage efforts.
Weather in the area was reported as calm seas with light rain.
Source of News & Photograph:
Publish A Letter in SitNews Read Letters/Opinions