Aleutian Isle updates from Sept. 1

From the Washington State Department of Ecology incident website:

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

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.

Status updates:

Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022 — 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, Aug. 31 divers aided by an ROV made two dives to the wreck site. Divers began cutting away netting from the vessel to locate fuel vents and to prevent the netting from becoming entangled in the rigging during the planned lift operations. In addition, the netting poses a danger to divers and the ROV during underwater operations. Divers were also able to locate four valves and secure them shut, including valves for waste oil, hydraulic fluid, and water. Today, Sept. 1, dive crews began working to secure the fuel oil vents and clear away entanglement hazards.

Wednesday, Aug. 31, — 12 p.m.

An ROV was deployed early Tuesday morning to the Aleutian Isle wreck site. The ROV and subsequent dive operations confirmed the commercial fishing vessel is lying hard on her starboard side with the hull facing up slope, and has not moved from its general location at a depth of more than 200 feet off San Juan Island. We plan to deploy the ROV this afternoon as divers prepare for the next window of opportunity to dive to the wreck site.

Air monitoring continues with no elevated levels of concern. No visible sheen was observed Tuesday, and no Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) were detected in the area near the wreck site. Whale deterrence teams are on standby if SRKW are detected.

A temporary safety zone extends 1,000 yards around the wreck site. Coast Guard crews are on scene to enforce the safety zone, and can be contacted directly on VHF marine-band radio channel 16.

The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) around the Aleutian Isle wreck site has been extended until October 15. This TFR is in effect for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Response crews are working under very challenging conditions and aircraft can be a distraction or impede the operation of heavy equipment.

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