Two vessels sink in Southeast, crews unharmed
Three crewmembers of the 75-foot tender Pacific Queen are safe after they abandoned ship when the vessel began experiencing uncontrollable flooding early Wednesday morning near Lung Island.
John Klingenberg, U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist, said the crew issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, or UMIB, which is a location signal that makes mariners in the area aware of the situation.
The crew then loaded aboard a life raft. Another vessel eventually arrived at the scene. Klingenberg said the Windham Bay rescued the Pacific Queen’s crew from the life raft and transported them to the Petersburg Medical Center around 5 a.m. He added there were no medical concerns and the crew was safe.
“They were able to get picked up relatively quickly,” Klingenberg said. “The crew was very well prepared. They did everything right and abandoned ship when they had to.”
The Coast Guard’s next priority, now that the crew is safe, is to monitor for pollution and debris.
Klingenberg said the ship contains around 1000 gallons of diesel fuel and is about 40 fathoms underwater—a depth a diver is unable to descend to safely.
The Coast Guard is conducting fly-overs as it continues to monitor for spillage.
Another ship, the Coral Sea, grounded off the southern coast of Prince of Wales Island around 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Five crewmembers abandoned ship onto a skiff and were picked up by the vessel, Time Bandit. All crewmembers are safe and no injuries have been reported.
The Coral Sea was initially only partially sunk but a Coast Guard flyover Wednesday afternoon revealed the vessel to be completely underwater.
The Coral Sea contains about 400 gallons of diesel fuel.
Klingenberg said the cause of both accidents are under investigation and no pollution has been observed as of yet.