The fishing vessel Speranza Marie lays on its port side after running aground on Santa Cruz Island, Dec. 15, 2022. Photos by Unified Command responders.

Salvage Continues for Grounded Fishing Vessel on Santa Cruz Island

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 4764
December 21, 2022

Salvage crews are making progress on the salvage of the grounded fishing vessel Speranza Marie on Southern California’s Santa Cruz Island—the largest of the Channel Islands.

The 60-foot F/V Speranza Marie was carrying roughly 1,000 gallons of diesel when it grounded in National Park Service waters in Chinese Harbor, on the northern side of the island, . All six crew members were rescued from the vessel.

Salvage contractors successfully moved the vessel from the rocky beach on Tuesday morning. Based on damage to the vessel, the plan is to sink the vessel in place so that divers can prepare for “proper salvage”, the Coast Guard said in an update.

“From there, teams will anchor the vessel in a secure position in preparation for inclement weather and further salvage operations.”

The Coast Guard has established a temporary safety zone of 4,000 yards around the vessel. The safety zone includes part of a Marine Protected Area.

Response crews worked over the weekend to remove debris from the vessel. Crews have remained on-scene to recover the release of hydrocarbons and debris during the vessel’s movement.

The Coast Guard has said diesel fuel is considered a non-persistent oil, compared to a heavier bunker or crude oil product, in even the calmest sea conditions, as it will lose 40% of its volume due to evaporation within 48 hours in cold weather.

A Unified Command has been set up to respond to the incident consisting of representatives from the Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Santa Barbara County, Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary and the responsible party, Ocean Angel VI LLC.

The cause of the grounding is currently under investigation.

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