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Tug Samson Mariner Grounding Ketchikan

SITREP #: 1st and Final SPILL #: 17119904601


The tug Samson Mariner and barge that ran aground in the Tongass Narrows.


TIME/DATE OF DISTRIBUTION:  3:30 p.m. February 16, 2017




INCIDENT LOCATION: Tongass Narrows, in the vicinity of Rosa Reef at 55.411667, -131.803333


TIME/DATE OF SPILL:   The tug Samson Mariner grounded on February 15, 2017 just before 7:00 p.m.


HOW/WHEN SPILL WAS DISCOVERED AND REPORTED: The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Juneau Command Center received a radio call at 18:58 p.m. from the tug Samson Mariner reporting the incident.

Samson Tug and Barge also reported the incident to ADEC at 7:19 p.m.


TYPE/AMOUNT OF PRODUCT SPILLED: Following tank soundings made once the tug was safely secured in Ward Cove, Samson Tug & Barge Inc. estimated that 1,100 gallons diesel was unaccounted for in the number 2 port fuel tank. An undetermined volume was contained by sorbent boom, but it is estimated that 600-700 gallons released into the environment. There was an estimated 30,000 gallons onboard the tug and 40,000 gallons on the barge Saint Elias that was under tow.


CAUSE OF SPILL: The tug Samson Mariner ran aground and had a breach of the number 2 port fuel tank through a 1-2 inch gash in the hull. Samson Tug & Barge Inc. reported that the tank contained approximately 5,000 gallons of diesel.


SOURCE CONTROL: Alaska Commercial Divers Inc. applied a patch to the breached hull around 10:05 p.m.


RESPONSE ACTION: The crew of the tug Samson Mariner immediately deployed sorbent boom after the grounding. The barge Saint Elias was towed to Ward Cove and secured. South East Petroleum Response Organization (SEAPRO) responded on scene last night and deployed containment boom around the tug.. Last night a Unified Command was formed with ADEC, USCG, and Samson Tug & Barge Inc. to manage the incident response. Early this morning the tug Samson Mariner was refloated, towed, and secured with the barge in Ward Cove. Both vessels were encircled with 1,000 feet of containment boom by SEAPRO. The USCG conducted aerial assessments of the sheen in the Tongass Narrows. The NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator made a fate and effects and trajectory assessment. The assessment states that if the wind picks up as forecasted this afternoon, we expect the sheen to break up relatively rapidly, with scattered sheens potentially still visible under the low wind conditions forecast for tomorrow. Light refined products, such as diesel (or Fuel Oil No.2), typically have very high evaporation and dispersion rates and do not tend to create persistent slicks.


RESOURCES AT RISK OR AFFECTED: There have been no confirmed reports of impacted fish or wildlife in the area. As of 11:00 a.m. a petroleum sheen extends approximately 3 miles beginning at the incident location to the north end of Pennock Island. The sheen is approximately 200 yards wide at the leading edge.


FUTURE PLANS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: SEAPRO continues to assess the petroleum sheen in the Tongass Narrows to determine the feasibility of recovery. SEAPRO continues to monitor the tug Samson Mariner and the barge Saint Elias in Ward Cove and maintain the containment boom.  The Unified Command continues to manage the incident.


WEATHER: The weather report for Thursday in Ketchikan is partly sunny, with a high near 44. Northwest wind around 15 mph.



Incident Commander: Wally Stilson, Samson Tug & Barge Inc.

SOSC: Bob Mattson, ADEC FOSCR:  CDR Mike Kahle, USCG


TIME/DATE OF THE NEXT REPORT DISTRIBUTION: This is the final situation report.


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