An examination of the 86-foot grounded fishing vessel Midnite Sun Tuesday showed that four of the boat’s six fuel tanks had ruptured, either as a result of the grounding or as the vessel was buffeted by winds and waves along the rocky tideland on the west side of Afognak.
The Coast Guard said the hull of the Midnite Sun had become compromised.
With only small amounts of residual fuel remaining in each of the ruptured tanks, commercial response crews and the owner of the vessel estimated between 4,000 and 4,500 gallons of diesel fuel had spilled, accounting for all of the diesel onboard the ship.
As with earlier crews, the last people on scene detected no impacts to the environment or wildlife and saw no signs of petroleum products in the water or on the shoreline.
“Weather has been a huge factor in the ongoing response to the grounding of the Midnite Sun,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Francis Schiano, Sector Anchorage marine science technician overseeing the response. “We were able to take advantage of the clear weather (Tuesday) to get aboard the Midnite Sun and begin working at removing all potential hazards.”
Several 5-gallon containers of miscellaneous petroleum products were removed or secured to the vessel Tuesday.
However, work on the remaining 200 gallons of lube oil and hydraulic oil on board was put on hold due to another weather system moving into the area Wednesday.