Cleanup of a sunken vessel, the Aleutian Isle, was complicated Monday when commercial dive and salvage teams found the boat had shifted and sunk an additional 100 feet, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Ty Keltner, communications manager for the ecology department’s spill program, said divers on Monday hoped to plug vents and remove fuel from the boat, which sank Saturday. But the vessel shifted and sank farther below the surface, Keltner said. The commercial fishing vessel was located in waters around 200 feet deep, the department said Monday night.
Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake was on scene Tuesday to recover a net that broke free from the Aleutian Isle while divers worked to remove a second net submerged where the boat first sank at the 100 foot mark, the department said.
Responders saw the sheen on the water had reduced by Tuesday, the department said.
No whales had been spotted nearby but observers are continuing to monitor for activity, the Department of Ecology said.
The Coast Guard received a distress call from the vessel, which was taking on water, at about 2 p.m. Saturday.
All five crew members were rescued by good Samaritans before the Coast Guard arrived, according to Petty Officer Michael Clark of the U.S. Coast Guard 13th District Pacific Northwest.
The crew estimated there was about 2,500 gallons of diesel out of 4,000-gallon capacity onboard and 100 gallons or so of lubricant and other oils used in boat engines when it sunk off Sunset Point on San Juan Island, Keltner said.