January 6, 2012
The crews remained on location overnight and stood watch over the wreck maintaining pumps. The vessel was finally stabilized and floated free with today’s tide. A Dunlap Towing boat moved the vessel to a more secure position on the dock and the PRUDHOE BAY will demobilize. Access was obtained to on-board fuel storage and approximately 250 gallons of fuel and other sources of hazmat have been removed from the vessel so far. A Tow Plan for transit to Port Townsend is being prepared.
January 5, 2012
The staCrews returned to the GYPSY QUEEN and installed dewatering pumps below the debris layer. As the tide rose dewatering commenced and crews in the interior of the vessel worked to seal areas of water ingress. Initial attempt at dewatering were thwarted by floating debris blocking hull openings and moving in the interior of the vessel interfering with dewatering equipment.
The crew will remain on location dewatering and wait as the high tide floats the vessel free of the river bed. The GYPSY QUEEN has been tied off ashore and to the PRUDHOE BAY which remains in a 4 point moor immediately abeam the wreck.
January 4, 2012
The vessel has been more securely anchored to the shore and to the nearby vessel PRUDHOE BAY. Ecology and salvage crews are on scene installing lift bags and plugs over port holes. The vessel will be dewatered and raised with the rising tide. Dewatering and fuel inventory is still hampered by debris inside the vessel. Once the boat is floating and stabilized, it will remain tied up to the PRUDHOE BAY because there are not effective places to secure the vessel. Once floating, the GYPSY QUEEN will be relocated to a more secure location along the dock system where safe access can be obtained for a thorough pollution assessment.
After the pollution threat has been removed, the vessel will be towed to Port Townsend where DNR will have it removed from the water.
December 27, 2011
Assessment of the vessel continues to be hampered by safety concerns and vessel instability. The vessel is leaking, and creating a light sheen, but the absorbents inside the hard boom are effectively collecting leaking oil. At low tide was out we thought the Gypsy Queen remains hard-aground at high tide, but with high tide the vessel is more buoyant and has moved several feet away from shore. The docks in this area are unstable and cannot be used to secure the vessel. Due to safety concerns and the list, entry into the vessel is not currently possible to complete the fuel assessment and removal.
It has also been learned that the deceased vessel owner has other vessels in Puget Sound that may be in a similar condition. Previously, Ecology responded to the sinking of the ANGEL RAE which was also owned by Mr. Dimond. The Dept. of Natural Resources has joined the response effort to assist with identifying other boats owned by Mr. Dimond.
Ecology is working with Global Diving and Salvage to identify options for stabilizing the vessel and removing the pollution threat.
December 24, 2011
The state Department of Ecology and Global Diving, a private contractor, are responding to a sunken 93-foot pleasure craft in Steamboat Slough near Everett.
The vessel is not believed to be actively leaking fuel, but the Everett Fire Department placed absorbent boom around the vessel as a precaution. It is unknown how much fuel, if any, the Gypsy Queen has on board.
Ecology and Global are assessing the potential for any pollution to the water from the vessel. Steamboat Slough is a fork of the Snohomish River.
More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
The owner of the GYPSY QUEEN is recently deceased and the vessel is creating an oil sheen with the rise and fall of the tide. The vessel has been boomed with hard boom lined with adsorbent boom.
The vessel is posing a risk of pollution, breaking free of her unsecure mooring and blocking the slough. Ecology has formed a unified command with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and are addressing the immediate priorities of:
- Controlling sources of pollution
- Stabilizing the vessel from drifting into the slough and blocking vessel traffic
- Preventing further damage to the dock to which she is moored.
Due to the dilapidated condition of the vessel and copious amounts of debris piled in the vessel interior, a full assess of the vessel’s condition and fuel inventory will be performed after the vessel is stabilized.