The retired U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis, which spent 50 years stationed in Kodiak, is now in Mexican waters, on its way to an Ensenada scrap yard.
Supporters of the Storis, marine historians, organizers of the Storis Museum, and former crewmembers, have all been trying to find some way to reverse its sale at auction this summer and keep it from being exported. Over the weekend and Monday, embassies, government agencies and U.S. Senators were contacted after documents surfaced indicating it might be illegal to export the Storis for the purpose of breaking up for scrap metal.
Jon Ottman, a maritime historian who has taken the point on attempts to save the ship, told supporters on the Storis Facebook page that legal remedies may have been exhausted. The transport of the Storis was signed off on by the General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, which Ottman says makes it unlikely a federal judge would block the tow.
The issue is that the Storis may have more contaminants on board than what is allowed to be exported.
Ottman says Alaska Senator Mark Begich’s office continues to work on stopping the transport through diplomatic means.
In another announcement to Storis supporters though, Ottman conceded it would take an “unforeseen miracle or unanticipated intervention” to stop the breaking up of the Storis at this point.
The venerable ship was launched in 1942, decommissioned in 2007 and sold at auction this summer for little more than $70,000.