The Aleutian Isle fishing boat has sunk deeper into the sea, presenting more challenges in cleaning up its oil leak.
The near 15-metre boat sunk over the weekend, bringing down nearly 10,000 litres of diesel and oil, according to the US Coast Guard. The sunken ship is off of San Juan Island, south of Victoria.
In an update Monday evening, the coast guard said divers could not locate the boat despite side scan sonar finding it earlier. They say the boat has shifted another 60 metres in depth and is presenting more logistical challenges for the team.
They add the divers are working to plug the vents of the sunken ship to prevent the diesel from leaking and then extract the fuel with decompression chambers. They add an over 900-metre dive zone has been established for their safety.
Concerns have also been raised about the southern resident killer whales. Coast Guard says the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other partners have staged specialized marine mammal acoustic deterrence teams in Snug Harbour.
They say no orcas have been seen near the oil spill and the deterrence methods have not been needed.
Over 640 metres of boom (a floating, physical barrier to oil made of plastic, metal and other materials) was placed Monday afternoon to contain surface oil, according to the US Coast Guard.
(2/3) around 200′ in depth. This presents additional logistical challenges that the on scene dive team is working to resolve. One of the nets that had been attached to the Aleutian Isle when it sank has floated free and crews have marked its positions and will be working to… pic.twitter.com/YpsJKr9Dg2
— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) August 16, 2022