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Chevalier in ICU at Harborview; no environmental impacts from sinking of Anna J
Saturday morning, the sea began to give back some of what it took from the crew of the Anna J the night before.
The front of the pilot house. A varnished wood hatch. A storage bin. Dry suits. A ball cap. Coffee mugs. Photographs. A clock, half filled with water, its hands stopped at 6 hours, 33 minutes, 53 seconds.
Of course, the first thing the sea surrendered was the crew. All hands survived the sinking of the venerable purse seiner off South Beach Friday night.
The captain, Charles Chevalier, was reportedly recovering Saturday in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center. He was intubated to remove water from his lungs. Chevalier had been pulled from the water by a crewmember, Ken Edwards.
Nick Nash, Chevalier’s relative, was released from St. Joseph Hospital after reportedly suffering a concussion.
The other crew members -- Edwards, John Cayou, Adam Sam and Bernadette Stone – were uninjured in the mishap and took ferries home Friday night.
Saturday, personnel from the Department of Ecology and the National Park Service patrolled the beach, retrieving that which was retrievable.
On the water, Ecology, the U.S. Coast Guard and Islands Oil Spill Association searched the area for the Anna J’s hull. A crew member said Saturday that she went down with 400-450 gallons of fuel.
“The most recent fly-over at approximately noon today did not note any sheen in the water,” the Coast Guard reported Saturday. “A two-mile long, light-colored sheen was reported during a flight this morning. Small drops of diesel and other oil have been floating to the surface slowly.”
The agencies assessed the beach and found no negative impacts from the spill. The agencies believed that most if not all hazardous debris from the vessel had been retrieved.
“The agencies will continue to monitor the situation and have another over-flight planned for first light Sunday morning,” the Coast Guard reported. “Wave action, wind and sunlight are helping dissipate the oil drops naturally with minimal environmental impact.”
Midday Saturday, Jackie Wolf of IOSA issued the following statement:
“It's noon. IOSA's Sea Goose and her crew are returning to Shoal Bay at this time. Very little fuel is coming from the sunken Anna J and what is coming to the surface is unrecoverable.
“Several overflights have shown just a few areas of light, unrecoverable sheen. So IOSA has been asked to stand down for now and the Coast Guard will continue to monitor the area with overflights. Beaches in the area appear to have not been affected.”
The Anna J was taking on a load of humpies when she rolled, took on water and sank Friday. It was the third day of the humpy fishery.
It is believed that a rigging failure unbalanced the vessel, causing it to roll and sink in 50 feet of water.
Shortly after the mishap occurred, Sheriff Bill Cumming said he understood the Anna J rolled after its boom swung out with its net full of fish, unbalancing the boat and causing it to take on water.
Becky Nash, Nash’s sister-in-law, said she was at the beach earlier in the day and the water looked "really rough," with white caps.
The crewmen were retrieved from the water by a nearby fishing vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard transferred Cayou, Edwards and Stone from the fishing vessel to land. Chevalier, Nash and Sam were taken by the sheriff’s boat Guardian to Cape San Juan Marina, where they were treated.
Chevalier and Nash were each stabilized and transported separately by ambulance to Cattle Point, where the District 3 Fire Department had secured a landing zone for Airlift Northwest.
Chevalier was medflighted to Harborview, Nash to St. Joseph.
Calls flooded into Harborview Friday and Saturday, inquiring about Chevalier’s condition.
Jack Giard, a Lopez Island fisherman and member of the Pacific Salmon Commission, expected word to travel fast in the fishing community about Chevalier.
“He’s a great guy. Being who he is, there's going to be a whole lot of concern," said Giard, a friend of Chevalier's. "I'm sure going to be saying a prayer for him and his family."
More details will be published as they are received.
Well-wishers can send an e-mail to Chevalier at Harborview. CLICK HERE.