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Responders Have Mitigated Pollution Threat Of F/V Akutan, Says Coast Guard

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Six days after forming an emergency response team, officials have suspended their efforts aboard a disabled fishing vessel in Unalaska.

Coast Guard Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said responders have removed almost 16,000 gallons of oil and sludge from the F/V Akutan, which is moored in Captains Bay.

“The main thing we were trying to do was insure there was no major pollution incident," said Rios. "At this time, we feel confident that we’ve mitigated any kind of imminent threat of pollution.”

Rios said it’s still unclear what will happen to the floating processor in the long term.

There are 130,000 pounds of frozen sockeye onboard, following the Akutan’s failed salmon season in Bristol Bay.

“As far as the ownership or who’s responsible from here on out, I don’t necessarily have the right answers for you," said Rios.

While responders have scaled back their operations, Rios said they’re still on the island monitoring the situation and ready to intervene again, if necessary.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019. We are proud to have her back in the spring of 2023 filling in as an interim reporter for KUCB.
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