Coast Guard continues operation to sink derelict vessel
GULF OF ALASKA — The unmanned Japanese fishing vessel Ryou-Un Maru drifts northwest approximately 170 nautical miles southwest of Sitka April 4, 2012. The Coast Guard is monitoring the vessel, which is currently considered a hazard to navigation, and working with stakeholders to determine the best way to respond to the vessel's presence in U.S. waters.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis
Juneau, Alaska – The Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa will continue with its plan to sink the derelict fishing vessel Ryou-Un Maru 180 miles west of Sitka today.
The scheduled operation was delayed due to a fishing vessel operating in the vicinity of the Ryou-Un Maru. The master initially expressed an interest in salvaging the derelict vessel, but once on scene determined it was not safe to salvage or tow the vessel and they left the area.
"Once the fishing vessel Bernice C is safely out of the area, we will continue with our operation to sink the hazard to navigation," said Capt. Daniel Travers, Coast Guard District 17, Chief of Incident Management.” “Our primary goal is to ensure the safety of this operation and all mariners."
The Ryou-Un Maru was sighted by the Canadian coast guard more than a week ago drifting in Canadian waters. The vessel drifted into U.S. waters Saturday and has been determined to pose a threat to navigation. The fishing vessel has been drifting unmanned at sea, presumably since the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and subsequent tsunami which occurred more than a year ago.
The Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Petersburg, Alaska.
Coast Guard releases concerning Ryou-Un Maru: