Status Update Tuesday, September 13, 2022 -- 11:00 a.m. Dive crews are experiencing the notorious strong currents and unpredictable and severe tide swings, which have impacted and prolonged operations. However they have still been able to make significant strides to recover the vessel.
Global's Dive Master, Jim Hegeman, monitors equipment in the mixed gas dive control van aboard the Manson Barge during ROV dive operations off San Juan Island, Wa., on Sept. 13, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Todd Hurley
Operations succeeded in rigging the entirety of the bow section of the vessel, leaving the remaining stern as the next rigging priority.
Throughout the process, responders occasionally see light sheening that is too small to recover and dissipates quickly. There continues to be no reported impacts to wildlife or whales. Community air monitoring continues to show no levels of concern.
A 1000-yard safety zone remains in place around the worksite to ensure a safe work environment. Boaters need to give responders as much room as possible and stay out of the area for the safety of divers, and other crew working the incident. Coast Guard crews are on scene enforcing the safety zone and can be contacted directly on VHF marine-band radio channel 16.
Washington Dept. of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard, San Juan Office of Emergency Management and Swinomish Tribe have formed a Unified Command to collectively respond to a sunken 49-foot fishing vessel, the Aleutian Isle, on the west side of San Juan Island near Sunset Point. This incident started as a search and rescue, and all persons on board were rescued safely. The vessel sank soon after.
The vessel is over 200 feet down and the plan is to bring it up to the surface in order to prevent oil and fuel leaks.
Status updates: Wednesday, September 7, 2022 -- 5 p.m.
Photo taken September 6 at low slack tide. (about 9:15 am) The crane is in position and lowering the dive bell at this time. When operating, the crane is swung 180 degrees from static position so the barge can act as a counter balance. The men on the deck give the crane some scale. The divers have a half hour of bottom time and four and a half hours in the decompression chamber afterwards according to Coast Guard personnel on the scene. The Coast Guard Cutter continues to enforce the 1000 yard clear zone. Photo by Brad Pillow
An incident-specific web page has been created by the Washington Department of Ecology. Additional photos of the response can be found on Flickr. Developing updates will also be posted periodically on the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest social media accounts listed below.
- Sept 22: Aleutian Isle no longer significant threat to environment in the San Juan Islands
- Sept. 21 Update: Aleutian Isle on barge, 40 days after sinking to 200-foot depth
- Sept. 20 Aleutian Isle Update: Vessel moved to shallower Mitchell Bay, dewatering and rerigging underway
- Update 10: Further Aleutian Isle lifting operations postponed due to weight
- Aleutian Isle successfully raised to surface; no whales in area
- Lifting of the Aleutian Isle underway
- UPDATE 9: Final preparations underway for lifting fishing vessel Aleutian Isle
- Sept 9 Update: Rigging Aleutian Isle for lift will take a few more days
- Sept. 4 Update Aleutian Isle: Wreck cleared of entanglements; rigging begun
- Sept. 2 Aleutian Isle Update: All valves and vents closed off by divers
- Sept. 1: Divers removing netting from wreck of Aleutian Isle
- Aleutian Isle lying on starboard side 200 ft down; TFR extended to Oct. 15
- Boaters asked to abide by safety zone restrictions near wreck site
- Aleutian Isle incident: Equipment on site, recovery will take 10 days once started
- U.S. and Canadian crews conduct transboundary whale deterrents drill
- August 25 Update: No sheen observed
- UPDATE #7: Efforts to bring sunken fishing boat up expected to begin Friday
- IOSA survey to gauge potential IOSA responder availability
- County Council met with response team last week; recording available
- Update 6: Specialized diving equipment will take a few days to arrive
- Coast Guard plans to remove entire FV Aleutian Isle from ocean floor
- 10 years ago, SeaDoc Society created a plan used today to keep orcas out of an oil spill
- Coast Guard Update 4: No marine, terrestrial, or airborne wildlife appear to have been affected
- Coast Guard Update 3: Depth of sunken boat increases difficulty for divers, ROV brought in, nets recovered
- Coast Guard Monday evening Update: Boat now in 200 ft of water
- Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to pollution incident after fishing vessel sinks off San Juan Island
- August 13: An "epic" encounter with J, K, and L pods
- Coast Guard Update: Divers on scene assessing possible defueling of sunken fishing boat
- Sunday evening update from Coast Guard about sunken fishing boat
- Opportunity lost
- San Juan County's view of diesel/oil spill situation
- Hotline to report sighting of oiled wildlife - 1-800-22-BIRDS.
- Coast Guard update on diesel/oil spill off of San Juan Island
- Diesel/oil spill off Sunset Point west side of San Juan Island