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Fishing Vessel Goes Aground in Channel Islands National Park

Fishing vessel Speranza Marie aground on a rocky shore
Images courtesy USCG

Published Dec 15, 2022 8:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

First responders are working to prevent a spill from a fishing vessel that went aground on Santa Cruz Island, California on Thursday morning. 

At about 0200, U.S. Coast Guard Sector LA/Long Beach received a call that the fishing vessel Speranza Marie had gone aground in Chinese Harbor, Santa Cruz. Six people were aboard, and they were rescued by another nearby fishing vessel without incident. They were transported safely to Ventura. 

Cleanup crews are already on scene to ensure containment and recover the boat's 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel. No wildlife effects have been observed so far, and any spilled diesel will dissipate quickly, the Coast Guard said.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife are assisting with the response, and salvage operations are expected to begin Friday. 

Chinese Harbor is a wide bay fronted by steep headlands on the northern side of Santa Cruz, one of the five islands in Channel Islands National Park. The nearby waters are a designated marine sanctuary and are within a UNESCO biosphere reserve.