Division of Spill Prevention and Response

Breadcrumbs

Tug Pathfinder Grounding



Incident Description

Incident Location Map

Location The grounding occurred on Bligh Reef, Prince William Sound, Alaska (60° 50.39’ N, 146° 52.94’ W).
Product/Quantity The amount spilled is currently unknown. The vessel had approximately 123,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board at the time of the grounding. Three of the tug’s diesel tanks were breached: one on the port side (1P) and two on the centerline (2C and 3C). Tank 1P did not contain any fuel, and Tanks 2C and 3C contained 10,000 and 23,540 gallons of diesel fuel, respectively, at the time of grounding.
Cause The 136-foot tug had completed an ice survey and was headed back to port at the time of the grounding. The grounding caused extensive damage to the hull, including tearing a 4- to 5-foot hole at the keel. The cause of the grounding is unknown at this time and is being investigated by the USCG and ADEC.
Time/Date of Incident The grounding of the tug Pathfinder was reported to the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Vessel Traffic System in Prince William Sound at 6:15 PM on December 23, 2009. The USCG reported the grounding to ADEC at 7:52 PM on December 23, 2009.
Situation Reports
12/24/2009 10:00 AM (PDF 1.4 MB)

12/24/2009 03:00 PM (PDF 645K) - (NOTE: Correction  to Tug Pathfinder Grounding Sitrep 2 – The first photo on the third page indicated that the vessel near the tug Pathfinder was the USCG Cutter Long Island.  That information was incorrect.  The vessel that can be seen on the photo is the response tug Alert.)

12/25/2009 03:00 PM (PDF 37K)

12/26/2009 03:00 PM (PDF 156K)

12/27/2009 03:00 PM (PDF 145K)

12/30/2009 03:00 PM (PDF 69K)

01/04/2010 03:00 PM (PDF 193K) -- FINAL
Maps

Overflight Map -- 12/25/2009 (PDF 235K)

 

Photos
December 30, 2009
   
The Pathfinder docked in Valdez. The Pathfinder docked in Valdez. The Pathfinder docked in Valdez.
The Pathfinder docked in Valdez. The Pathfinder docked in Valdez.  
December 27, 2009
   
Pathfinder at PetroStar dock with containment boom around the vessel.    
Pathfinder at PetroStar dock with containment boom around the vessel.    
December 26, 2009
   
Oiled sorbent pads collected and bagged for disposal. Sorbent pads used to collect diesel fuel spilled during fuel transfer operations. Spill response crews using sorbent pads to collect fuel within the containment boom area.
Oiled sorbent pads collected and bagged for disposal. Sorbent pads used to collect diesel fuel spilled during fuel transfer operations. Spill response crews using sorbent pads to collect fuel within the containment boom area.
Spill responder gauging level of fuel in tank on the Pathfinder.

Spill responder gauging level of fuel in tank on the Pathfinder.

   
December 25, 2009
   
Ice observed in the Glacier Island area during the overflight. Tug Pathfinder with containment boom and response vessels nearby.  

Ice observed in the Glacier Island area during the overflight.

Tug Pathfinder with containment boom and response vessels nearby.  
December 24, 2009
   
Tug Pathfinder anchored off of Busby Island with boom surrounding the vessel. Oil sheen visible in the foreground. Oil sheen visible during overflight.
Tug Pathfinder anchored off of Busby Island with boom surrounding the vessel. Oil sheen visible in the foreground. Oil sheen visible during overflight.
Valdez Star in the sheen skimming oil. Valdez Star in the sheen skimming oil.  
Valdez Star in the sheen skimming oil. Valdez Star in the sheen skimming oil.  
For more information

Gary Folley, ADEC (907) 262-5210 ext. 234