Salvage efforts are underway for the F/V Pacific Knight

Jul 30, 2018

When they flew an aerial survey today, ADF&G did not observe oil sheen coming from the wreckage of the tender that sank near Clark's Point Wednesday. Commercial fishing in the district could open as early as 4 p.m. Tuesday.

When ADF&G flew surveys of the scene over the weekend, it saw oil sheen on the water (as in this photo taken June 28, 2018). Oil sheen was not visible when the department flew today.
Credit ADF&G Staff

The owner of the F/V Pacific Knight is contracting with the private company Resolve Marine to salvage the 58-foot vessel that sank near Clark’s Point on Wednesday.

The entire Nushagak commercial fishing district is closed because the wreck is leaking fuel. When the boat sank, it was carrying 1100 gallons of fuel. It is still unknown how much diesel and hydraulic fuel has spilled into the bay.

Divers unsuccessfully attempted to stop the vessel leaking fuel over the weekend and again on today. They are scheduled to attempt another dive tonight to determine how much fuel is still on the ship and to pump off any that remains.

“The salvage vessel…is there on scene,” said Alaska Department of Fish and Game area management biologist, Tim Sands, who flew an aerial survey today. “On previous surveys we were seeing oil coming up as we mostly flew at ebb tide, the streaks of oil going down the bay. Today we did not see any oil sheen at all, and that was a big improvement.”

Winds today were gusting to the 30 knots over Bristol Bay. Sands expressed hope that the wind and choppy surf will aid the spilled fuel in dispersing and evaporating.

“We know that there was sheen over Igushik. There was still some report of that today. But hopefully it will all be dissipated by tomorrow.”

Fish and Game will consider reopening commercial fishing in the district as early as 4p.m. Tuesday if no evidence of fuel is not detected. 

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.