What happened is clear. Why it happened is under investigation with possible far reaching consequences.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG), the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), and the Fishing Company of Alaska (FCA), which formed a Unified Command to respond to the sinking fishing vessel Alaska Juris, in the Bering Sea, have called off the search for the missing vessel which is presumed sunk in approximately 5,400 feet of water.
The Unified Command had activated the fishing vessel Alaska Endeavor, the salvage tug Resolve Pioneer, and a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew to search the area northwest of Adak, Alaska, where the fishing vessel Alaska Juris was last seen. Searches by sea were conducted on July 28-30, and air searches were conducted on July 29 and 30, with the vessel not being found. A search was also conducted along the track of the vessel’s projected drift.
Unrecoverable diesel sheen was located in the search area with the source of the sheen unknown but believed to be from the Alaska Juris.
Through an abundance of caution, the Fishing Company of Alaska formally activated a State and Federally-approved oil spill response organization, Alaska Chadux, per FCA’s non-tank vessel response plan. The Unified Command has since stood down Alaska Chadux.
“We have received reports of intermittent unrecoverable sheen, potentially resulting from the sinking of this vessel,” said Ron Doyle, state on-scene coordinator. “We do not anticipate any shoreline impacts. We will continue to monitor the situation and look into any future reports we receive as our common goal is protecting Alaska’s environment”
The cause of the fishing vessel Alaska Juris sinking is under investigation.