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F/V Chief Joseph Sinks near Henry Island

Chief-Joseph-FV-300x199Watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound were notified around 6 a.m. that the 48-foot F/V CHIEF JOSEPH, was in distress and taking on water. Aboard the vessel was one individual and a dog. The pair evacuated the vessel using a life raft.

Sector watchstanders dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Bellingham, and the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ADELIE to assist the distressed vessel.

The survivor and the dog made it safely to the shores of Henry Island on the life raft.

The crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ADELIE located the survivor and the dog, brought them on board the cutter, and safely transported them to Port Angeles.

The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter aircrew conducted an aerial survey of the area, reporting a 100-yard sheen on the water and a debris field resulting from the sunken vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter crew remained at the scene to recover the debris.

The F/V CHIEF JOSEPH, with a maximum capacity of 850 gallons of diesel, was reported to be carrying 400 to 500 gallons.

In response to the potential environmental threat, Global Dive and Salvage, an oil spill response organization, has been contracted to assess the vessel’s condition and mitigate pollution risks.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.

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