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CONCERN OVER POSSIBLE POLLUTION FROM GROUNDED ALASKA FISHING BOAT

The Coast Guard is concerned over possible fuel leakage from the grounded fishing vessel, MAR GUN. The vessel went aground early yesterday morning on St. George Island. The five-member crew of the MAR GUN was rescued from the vessel by a United States Coast Guard helicopter. However, the grounded vessel is reportedly carrying 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and is near a fur seal and sea lion rookery; an island which is also home to one of the largest nesting colonies of sea birds in the Northern Hemisphere. Because of the sensitive nature of the environment, the Coast Guard has mobilized the National Strike Force’s Pacific Strike Force Team to respond to the threat of pollution, and they will reportedly be working to remove the fuel and lube oil from the vessel. They are anticipated to be on the scene late Friday afternoon. No pollution has been reported at this time. The MAR GUN crew transferred fuel to the vessel’s interior tanks prior to abandoning the vessel.

The MAR GUN is a 112-foot Seattle based trawler that fishes in the Bering Sea for pollock. The details of the cause of the grounding are unclear at this time, and the United States Coast Guard will be conducting further investigations.