The DIEHLESS, a sixty foot wooden motor vessel built in 1916 sank in Wards Cove, Alaska. The owner of the vessel was on board at the time of the sinking. He reports waking at 4:00 A.M. to the sound of a bilge alarm and discovering the vessel’s back deck awash and the engine room flooded. The owner was able to safely evacuate the vessel. Efforts are underway to contain any environmental damage. It is was estimated the DIEHLESS had 250 gallons of fuel and other oils on board.
The importance of operating bilge alarms cannot be overstated. Bilge alarms should be regularly checked and be properly located, redundant and back up systems should also be considered.