May 28, 2010
- Global Diving and Salvage (Global) removed a 4-foot by 4-foot section of the hull to access the eight service tanks which, according the ship’s plans, held a variety of petroleum products. The space had previously been hot-tapped, and a significant quantity of mix petroleum products and oily water was removed from the space. The access route was blocked by a tank not shown on the ship’s plans. Divers drilled into the tank and determined it did not contain any oil. Debris and piping made access into the space to examine the eight tanks shown on the plans impossible. The visual inspection completed by the diver and the Remotely Operated Vehicle indicated the space did not contain any large quantity of free-floating oil. The Unified Command, based on the information collected, decided not to continue efforts to access the eight service tanks. It is assumed, based on the amount of oil removed from the overhead (ceiling) in the compartment, that the service tanks have failed and discharged their contents into the interior of the ship.
- The 4-foot by 4-foot hull section is being re-attached to the vessel today using welded patches and underwater epoxy. Global divers will continue work today to return the vessel to as near the pre-response condition as possible.
- Landing plates with the attached flanges used during the hot-tapping procedures are being spot-welded closed and left on the vessel’s hull.
- All large openings created during the response will be closed to prevent access to interior spaces on the vessel. Temporary patches placed over the port holes have been removed.
- Crews removed the response equipment container in Amalga Harbor and the pre-positioned containment boom in Tee Harbor.
- Today, Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization (SEAPRO) responders will recover the containment boom deployed to the north and south of dive operations.
- The boom directly around the dive platform will be maintained as long as vessels are onsite.
- The safety zone onsite remains in effect until the mooring system is removed. Vessels transiting the area should refer to marine channel 16 for Notices to Mariners.
- Global has completed all feasible fuel transfer operations from the Princess Kathleen, and the majority of all bunker and other oils have been safely removed from the vessel. Small quantities of petroleum remain trapped within the vessel and will continue to be released over time. However, the response has removed a significant threat to the shores and waters of Lynn Canal and insures that the Princess Kathleen will not be the source of a catastrophic release in the future.
- The volumes reported include a percentage of water; the actual volume of fuel recovered will not be known until the product is measured at the disposal and recycling center. Approximately 118,800 gallons of bunker oil was recovered from the fuel tanks. An additional 25,500 gallons of other petroleum products, bunker oil and oily water have been collected from overhead spaces and after engine room spaces onboard the vessel. The total recovered volume is approximately 144,300 gallons.
FUTURE PLANS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Decontamination will begin on vessels and equipment this weekend.
- Vessels will move to the Southeast Lighterage docks in Auke Bay, where they will be boomed and cleaned with high pressure water and powered scrubbers.
- The oiled response equipment will either be decontaminated locally by SEAPRO responders or shipped to Seattle for decontamination.
- Equipment to be decontaminated locally will be placed within secondary containment prior to decontamination. Contaminated water will be treated and disposed of in accordance with State and federal regulations.
- Once equipment has been decontaminated or properly contained for shipment, it will be returned to its home port.
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