Grounded fishing vessel could have 1,200 gallons of fuel on board

Grounded fishing vessel Pacific Quest, which beached and broke up near Seymour Marine Discovery Centre in Santa Cruz, central California, could have up to 1,200 gallons of fuel on board, responders have said. They are working to remove fuel from the tanks of the 56ft commercial fishing vessel, which ran aground on Sunday August 12th.

The captain contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at approximately 02:00 on Sunday, reporting that the vessel had run aground with only himself and his dog on board. They walked ashore at low tide.

Tow Boat US was contracted to try to refloat the vessel and transport it to Santa Cruz Harbour, but when they arrived on scene at approximately 11:20 they said that the vessel salvage operation would be unsafe, due to multiple compartments being filled with seawater.

Tow Boat US returned at the next low tide, early that evening, and secured the fuel vents to prevent fuel from being discharged.

Parker Diving and Salvage has been contracted to salvage the vessel and was scheduled to begin fuel removal and salvage efforts on August 13th.

Other members of the unified command team include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), Monterey County, Santa Cruz Fire Department and a representative of the vessel owner.