Department of Ecology News Release - May 23, 2012

12-152

Divers surveying Deep Sea wreck to aid salvage planning

COUPEVILLE, Wash. – A salvage company dive team, hired by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), is surveying the submerged wreck of the former fishing vessel Deep Sea today in Penn Cover near Coupeville.

Information from the dive will aid efforts to plan for the raising of the vessel, which sank on May 13, 2012, after a fire. Ecology maintains a standing salvage contract with Global Diving and Salvage, Inc., as part of the department’s spill response mission. The company will conduct the salvage operation for Ecology.

The vessel rests on state-owned aquatic lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Plans for the salvage operation are still being developed, with no date set for raising the vessel.

Ecology and DNR seek a prompt and safe removal of the wreck because it likely contains an unknown amount of oil and hazardous materials that could be released into the water as the steel structure rusts over time.

Meanwhile, environmental response crews hired by Ecology continue to tend and monitor oil-spill containment boom placed around the site of the wreck. The crews are removing small amounts of oil – that periodically float up from the wreck into the boomed area – with oil-spill cleanup materials.

Divers and other responders hired by the U.S. Coast Guard removed or recovered at least 3,600 gallons of diesel fuel from the wreck in the first five days after the sinking. The 128-foot vessel rests on its left side in about 60 feet of water.

###

Media Contacts:

For more information:

Fishing Vessel Deep Sea Fire (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/incidents/FVdeepsea/index.html)

Ecology's Spills Program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)

Earlier news releases:

Washington Department of Ecology:
May 21: Cleanup crews keep watch on Deep Sea wreck in Penn Cove (www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2012/151.html)
May 18: Divers check for remaining oil on sunken vessel in Penn Cove (www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2012/147.html)
May 17: Cleanup, monitoring continue on sunken vessel in Penn Cove (www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2012/143.html)
May 16: Penn Cove oil spill response continues (www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2012/140.html)

Washington Department of Health:
May 15: Penn Cove shellfish harvest area closed due to fuel spill (www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2012NewsReleases/12059PennCoveClosure.aspx)

Washington Department of Natural Resources:
May 22: Removal of sunken vessel in Penn Cove to begin soon (www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/News/Pages/2012_05_22_penn_cove_nr.aspx)
May 14: DNR took steps to remove boat from Penn Cove (www.dnr.wa.gov/BusinessPermits/News/Pages/2012_05_14_penncove_nr.aspx)

U.S. Coast Guard:
May 15: http://www.d13.uscgnews.com/go/doc/21/1437819/
May 14: http://www.d13.uscgnews.com/go/doc/21/1436963/
May 13 (p.m.): http://www.d13.uscgnews.com/go/doc/21/1430727/
May 13 (a.m.): http://www.d13.uscgnews.com/go/doc/21/1430691/