October 11, 2011
The barge St. Elias, which ran aground five miles southwest of Anacortes in Rosario Strait on Monday, was refloated, inspected and towed to Indian Island on Tuesday.
The hull of the 322-foot, dry-cargo barge was inspected by contracted divers from Global Diving & Salvage, who located a 10-foot by 10-foot hole in the forward starboard hold. The hole had a minor effect on stability of the vessel and draft readings indicated an insignificant change to the barge’s trim.
The barge is carrying thousands of pounds of explosives. The cargo remained stable throughout the incident. The Department of Ecology confirmed that a fuel tank on the barge’s deck had been emptied and contained only residual fuel.
Sector Puget Sound received a towing plan from Foss Maritime, which is in close coordination with the barge’s owner, Samson Tug & Barge, based in Sitka, Alaska. After thorough review, the plan was approved. The tug Delta Lindsey took the St. Elias in side tow to Indian Island, with the undamaged stern forward. The tug Henry Brusco assisted with the tow escort, along with the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish, from Port Angeles, Wash.
St. Elias is now moored at Indian Island.
“As I stated yesterday, this response, and the continued efforts, is a success in part to the combined work of several federal, state, local agencies and industry,” said Capt. Scott Ferguson, Commanding Officer of Sector Puget Sound. “We practice coordinated response exercises often so all agencies are prepared when real situations occur. This is an example of what we prepare for…and we were ready.”
For more information, contact Chief Petty Officer Robert K. Lanier, 13th Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office, at (206) 220-7093.
October 10, 2011
The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Washington Dept. of Ecology and several other agencies are responding to a dry-cargo barge that ran aground five miles southwest of Anacortes, Wash., in Rosario Strait, Monday.
Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, in Seattle, received a report at approximately 5:45 a.m., stating the barge had run aground on Belle Rock near Anacortes.
The 322-foot barge St. Elias was being towed south through Rosario Strait by the 101-foot tug Henry Brusco. St. Elias' cargo, which is being transported in approximately 100 containers, includes explosive ordinance, several vehicles and various other items.
An HH-65 helicopter crew, from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., conducted an over flight and reported no pollution. A Station Bellingham, Wash., small boat crew is on-scene. U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician members and a Coast Guard inspector are on board the barge conducting a safety assessment.
The explosives appear to be secure, but as a precaution, a 2,000-yard safety zone has been established in the area around Belle Rock. Mariners transiting Rosario Strait near Belle Rock are urged to use caution. As an additional precaution, containment boom has been deployed around the barge.
For more information, please contact Chief Petty Officer Robert K. Lanier, 13th Coast Guard District Public Affairs, at (206) 217-6493.
The dry-cargo barge, St. Elias, which ran aground five miles southwest of Anacortes, WA, in Rosario Strait, Monday, refloated free of Belle Rock at 3 p.m.
The St. Elias was towed into the middle of the channel and is sitting at its normal drift marks.
Sector Puget Sound and Washington Dept. of Ecology are working with response tugs to transport the St. Elias to a location in the vicinity of Shannon Point were further dive assessment will occur. After reviewing the assessment and further visual inspections, the Coast Guard, in conjunction with all parties involved, will work the next phase of the vessel transit to Indian Island.
“This response, and the continued efforts, is a success in part to the combined work of several federal, state, local agencies and industry,” said Capt. Scott Ferguson, Commanding Officer of Sector Puget Sound. “We practice coordinated response exercises often so all agencies are prepared when real situations occur. This is an example of what we prepare for…and we were ready.”
Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound was notified at 5:45 a.m., that the 322-foot barge St. Elias was being towed south through Rosario Strait by the 101-foot tug Henry Brusco when it ran aground at approximately 5:20 a.m. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., conducted a morning over flight and Station Bellingham, Wash., conducted an on-site review, and both reported no signs of pollution. As an environmental precaution, containment doom was deployed around the vessel.
U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, from Anacortes, along with a Sector Puget Sound inspector, conducted a safety assessment on board the St. Elias, due to the fact that some of the containers on board housed explosive ordnances. The ordnance was determined to be secure and stable. As an additional safety precaution, a 2,000-yard safety zone was established in the area around Belle Rock. Once the vessel was refloated, the safety zone was lifted and Rosario Strait opened to all traffic.