Fishing Vessel Grounds Near Monterey Bay Sanctuary
The U.S. Coast Guard is leading the response to a grounded fishing vessel near Natural Bridges State Park, California, in Monterey County. The boat has as much as 1,200 gallons of diesel on board, and the grounding site is near the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The captain of the fishing vessel Pacific Quest contacted Sector San Francisco at about 0200 hours on Saturday to report that he had gone aground. The man and his dog were able to get off the boat at low tide and walk safely ashore, with no injuries reported.
The Pacific Quest aground, August 12 (USCG)
The captain hired small vessel response group Tow Boat U.S. to attempt to refloat the fishing vessel, but the towage operator determined that the damage to the vessel and the flooding within were too severe for a simple tow. The Tow Boat US responder returned at 1730 hours to plug the Pacific Quest's fuel vents in order to minimize the risk of pollution.
Parker Diving and Salvage has been contracted to conduct fuel removal. The company is scheduled to begin those efforts Monday.
“The Coast Guard and other federal, state and local agencies have established a unified command to ensure a safe and rapid response to the Pacific Quest grounding,” said Coast Guard Ensign Kelly Hodges, the federal on-scene coordinator representative for the unified command. NOAA, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Monterey County, Santa Cruz Fire Department and the vessel owners are participating in the response command.