Fishing vessel Sea Breaker sinking

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)

A 50-foot fishing vessel capsized and sank 2.5 miles off shore near Point Roberts. The U.S. Coast Guard performed an over flight and observed a one mile long sheen.

Summary information

Date of incident: September 5, 2013 -

Offshore Point Roberts, Whatcom County, WA

Type of incident: Potentially 800 gallons of diesel and 25 gallons of lube oil
Cause of incident: Unknown
Responsible party: Commercial Fishing Vessel, Sea Breaker

Status updates

September 11, 2013

The U.S. Coast Guard flew over the incident area Tuesday evening and observed no sheen. Resting at a depth greater than 200 feet, the vessel poses no navigational hazard. The U.S. Coast Guard and Ecology officials have decided to not require recovery of the vessel due to the inherent dangers and costs associated with diving and salvage at these depths. NOAA completed a trajectory analysis and determined that given the vessel location and anticipated tide and weather conditions they did not expect any noticeable shoreline impacts from any oil released from the vessel.

September 6, 2013

Crews were on scene today assessing the situation. There's a reported light, patchy sheen in the area. Ecology attempted to recover some of the sheen with boom and absorbent pads, but were unable to collect anything. The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the area over the weekend with air and afloat assets, with containment and recovery equipment on-scene, if necessary.

Ballard Salvage & Diving is conducting side scans now to try to locate the vessel, and figure out how deep it is. Weekend dive operations will depend on if they can find it, and how deep it is.

September 5, 2013

A 50-foot fishing vessel capsized then sank approximately 2.5 miles off shore near Point Roberts. The U.S. Coast Guard performed an over flight approximately 6 p.m. and observed a one mile long sheen. The vessel reported 800 gallons of diesel fuel and approximately 25 gallons of lube oil on board.

The Washington Department of Ecology, the U.S. Coast Guard and contractor Ballad Diving & Salvage prepared for response early Friday, September 6. The team will respond with oil containment equipment for deployment once the vessel is located.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported several “good Samaritan” boats assisted the crew on board. All five crew members were recovered with no injuries.

Media contact

Dustin Terpening, Media contact,, 360-715-5205, @

Katelyn Tyson, U.S. coast Guard

(206) 206-571-7619