Team Sent To Contain Oil Sheen From Sunken Boat

The stern of the F/V Evening Star is seen under about 10 feet of water in this photo the state distributed Tuesday. The vessel sank while fishing on Aug. 2. (Photo by Global Diving & Salvage)

State fishery managers on Tuesday spotted a mile-long oil sheen coming from a seine boat that sank north of Sitka.

The 50-foot Evening Star sank while fishing on Aug. 2. The vessel is in Solcum Arm, about 40 miles northwest of Sitka, along the western coast of Chichagof Island. The vessel reportedly had 1,000 gallons of diesel aboard.

The oil sheen was reported Tuesday, during an overflight by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. A smaller sheen was visible immediately following the sinking, and it prompted an emergency closure of the nearby salmon fishery. State officials say no impacts to fish or wildlife have been reported.

The Department of Environmental Conservation said a response team from SEAPRO left Sitka on Wednesday morning, to deploy a boom around the vessel and clean up oil discharges as they occur. SEAPRO stands for the Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization. The Ketchikan-based group responds to oil spills.

Operations on removing fuel from the vessel and salvaging it are still scheduled to begin next week.