Monday, June 4, 2012

Deep Sea refloated in Penn Cove; tow to Seattle awaits calm weather and seas

by Larry Altose, Ecology public information

Wheelhouse of the Deep Sea, afloat again in Penn Cove on June 4, 2012.  Photo: Dept. of Ecology
The fishing vessel Deep Sea, raised from the bottom of Penn Cove yesterday, floated on its own today. The 140-foot vessel underwent inspections today to determine its seaworthiness and to locate any remaining pockets of oil for removal.

The larger of the two floating cranes that lifted the Deep Sea is scheduled to depart for Seattle tonight. The Deep Sea is now moored to the smaller crane barge.

Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and U.S. Coast Guard Officials will decide when the vessel can be towed to a dry dock in Seattle for dismantling. That will occur as soon as weather and sea conditions allow. Tomorrow’s forecast predicts winds that will push wave heights to four feet. Safe towing conditions require waves under three feet.

Meanwhile, environmental cleanup crews continued efforts to remove oil from the water immediately surrounding the Deep Sea. Oil trapped in the hull when the vessel rested on its side floated to the surface when floating cranes set the Deep Sea upright before raising it, yesterday.

A multi-agency unified command is coordinating the recovery effort. The command comprises the Coast Guard, Ecology and Island County, Assisting in the response are the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Global Diving & Salvage Inc. (Global) and NRC-Environmental Services (NRC-ES). The county’s departments of Emergency Management and Public Works, and the Island County Sheriff’s Office, are providing local support to the response effort.

The unified command also receives assistance from the Washington departments of Health (WDOH) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and helicopter service from the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO).

The state Health Department closed all shellfish harvesting in Penn Cove on May 15. The closure will remain in effect until testing confirms shellfish from the area are safe to eat.

The Coast Guard has established a marine safety zone on waters within 200 yards of the Deep Sea. Vessels seeking to enter that zone must request permission from the Coast Guard's Joint Harbor Operation Center at 206-217-6001 or from on-scene patrol craft on VHF radio channel 13.

For more information: Media Contacts:
Larry Altose, Ecology, 206-920-2600,

Curt Hart, Ecology, 360-480-7908,

Chief Warrant Officer Iain Wells, U.S. Coast Guard, 206-910-3524

Toni Droscher, Dept. of Natural Resources, 360-902-1523,

Terry Clark, Island County Department of Emergency Management, 360-632-3902

No comments: