Fuel Spilled After Vessel Loses Power, Drifts into Channel Rocks

There was a fuel spill in Nome Saturday morning that leaked up to 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the ocean near the harbor.

The vessel that hit rocks near the Nome Harbor and spilled up to 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel belongs to Alaska Logistics – one of the main shippers to Western Alaska.

10-year Owner and General Manager for Alaska Logistics Allen Long says the Kaktovik 2 was trying to move a barge off the beach when one of the tow wires got caught in the prop, which left the tug at the mercy of the ocean, and Friday night, when the vessel could not operate, there were up to five-foot waves. The Kaktovik 2 ended up hitting some rocks and Long says 600-700 gallons of fuel spilled into the ocean. Saturday, booms were put in place around the vessel and key locations and oil absorbent material was placed on the beaches.

DEC’s State On-Scene Coordinator for spill response Ashley Anderson says one responder from the DEC is on scene, working with the US Coast Guard, Harbormaster Joy Baker and Alaska Logisitics to develop a towing plan. Their plan is to eventually move the vessel on to a barge.

Anderson says because the Kaktovik 2 has a large hole, they do expect further release when they remove the vessel from the water.

And Alaska Logistics General Manager Allen Long says the Coast Guard first has a plan to move the Kaktovik 2 to the dock in Nome to inspect the vessel.

The DEC’s local responder has not been able to do a full-on shore assessment, due to the high waves, but plans to head out this afternoon to see how things look near Snake River and the entry to the harbor.

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Laureli Kinneen is a reporter at KNOM in Nome.

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