The United States Army Vessel LCU 2030 Monterrey, grounded on Puffin Island after striking a submerged rock and puncturing its hull. US Coast Guard photos
A U.S. Army
Reserve ship struck a rock in Chiniak Bay late Friday night and began
taking on water. The landing craft Monterrey was then intentionally grounded in
front of town, according to Army Reserve spokeswoman Major Annmarie Daneker.
"It struck an underwater obstruction on
Friday night and started taking water. The Coast Guard responded very quickly
and per instructions from the Coast Guard the Monterrey was beached on Puffin
Island so that the coast Guard could continue to respond to the breach in the
tank that was punctured had a capacity of 8,000 gallons, though how much was in
it, or how much spilled is not known at this time. Though only one fuel tank
has been reported as damaged, the Monterrey is reportedly carrying up to 40,000
gallons of fuel.
said she did not have a timeline for clean-up or salvage of the Monterrey.
"Our major focus right now is safety and
health of the crew, and also the environmental impact on the area. Cooperating
fully with the U.S. Coast Guard, and as soon as they give the clear that we can
continue with salvage operations we'll continue forward, but I don't have
timeline for that."
Monterrey was transporting heavy construction equipment from Port Hueneme, California, to Newtok on the coast between the Yukon and
Kuskokwim rivers, in support of a U.S. Marine Corps mission called Metervik
Innovative Readiness Training.
"What this is is a five-year evacuation
project. It's being led by the United States Marine Corps and supported by the
U.S. Army Reserves, to build an evacuation and emergency shelter, roads, homes
and actually an airfield at a new village site for the village of Newtok, which
is being moved to Metervik because Newtok is sinking into the river due to
erosion and melting permafrost."
vessels Resolution and Peggy Joe also responded last night. The Peggy Joe crew
transported two Monterrey crewmembers with minor injuries to emergency medical
services in Kodiak.
Guard has contracted Alaska Chadux Corporation to assist in containing
and cleaning up the fuel leak. Pumps and oil-skimming equipment were loaded
aboard the civilian landing craft Cape Douglas this morning in downtown.