Chronic ‘nuisance vessel’ scuttled off southeast Alaska

The 107-foot tug Lumberman was abandoned in Gastineau Channel in 2016

(JUNEAU, Alaska) — The City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Docks and Harbors and Global Diving & Salvage, assisted by Coast Guard Sector Juneau, scuttled the derelict tugboat Lumberman off southeast Alaska on Sunday.

The Coast Guard cutter John McCormick, a 154-foot Sentinel-class vessel, towed Lumberman, a 107-foot steel-hulled tugboat, to a position 54 miles west of Cross Sound where it was sunk in over 8,400 feet of water.

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Lumberman is towed to its scuttling site west of Cross Sound, Alaska, on May 2. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Sector Juneau accessed the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in 2017 to remove petroleum product and again in 2020 to secure the vessel when it became adrift in Gastineau Channel. Prior to the scuttling, CBJ hired Global Diving & Salvage to remove hazardous material and approximately 250 cubic yards of debris, conducted a stability assessment and prepped Lumberman for sinking. Following environmental consultation with key stakeholders, CBJ obtained an EPA general permit for vessel disposal at sea.

The decision to dispose of Lumberman at sea was made after it was determined to be a derelict vessel that posed a significant public safety risk. It had been abandoned in Gastineau Channel in 2016.

“Nuisance vessels are a challenge to address. In this case we were able to coordinate the appropriate resources to safely remove the threat Lumberman posed to navigation, the local environment and the community of Juneau,” said Cmdr. Byron Hayes, Sector Juneau response chief.

– U.S. Coast Guard

Categories: Maritime News, Tugboats & Towing