Crab fishing vessel sinks at Pier in Seattle

The U.S. Coast Guard, Washington Department of Ecology and other agencies respond to the vessel North American after it sank at a pier in Seattle May 14, 2024. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
A 91 foot crab fishing vessel named North American sank off a Seattle pier, triggering a swift response from the U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies. The incident occurred near Ballard Bridge on Lake Washington Ship Canal. Emergency procedures were put in place to contain the diesel spill and prevent environmental damage.
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A 91-foot crab fishing vessel called North American sank off a Seattle pier early Tuesday morning, leading to a coordinated response from the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies. The incident occurred near the Ballard Bridge on the south side of the Lake Washington Ship Canal around 7:30 a.m. The Seattle Fire Department quickly established a containment barrier around the sunken ship, which has a capacity of 32,500 gallons of diesel fuel.

To address the potential environmental impact of the sunken vessel, the Coast Guard activated the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and contracted Global Dive and Salvage for oil spill response. Divers were dispatched to the scene to seal the vents and prevent further diesel discharge. Additional containment booms were placed around the ship, with plans to transfer the remaining fuel from the vessel to onshore tanks.

Coast Guard responders are currently on-site, assessing the area and coordinating cleanup efforts. Fortunately, no injured wildlife or disruptions to shipping traffic have been reported as a result of the incident. Investigations into the cause of the sinking are ongoing, as agencies work to contain the environmental impact and ensure the safety of the surrounding waters.

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