Search Called Off for F/V Juris, Investigation Ongoing

By Peggy Parker, – August 2, 2016

The search for the F/V Juris has been called off. It is presumed to have sunk in 5,400 feet of water not far from where it was last seen.

“We have searched and have not been able to locate the fishing vessel Alaska Juris,” said Lt. Todd Bagetis, federal on-scene coordinator.

The unified command of the Coast Guard, Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), and the Fishing Company of Alaska (FCA), formed to respond to the sinking of the Juris, is no longer active, although the USCG investigation of the sinking, and perhaps other jurisdiction’s investigation of the incident, are ongoing.

“During this robust search, the safety of response personnel, the public and protection of the local environment have been our top priorities,” Bagetis said.

“I’d like to recognize close coordination and cooperation between Fishing Company of Alaska, the State of Alaska and various State and Federal agencies for their support and response effort.”

The unified command had activated the trawler Alaska Endeavor, the salvage tug Resolve Pioneer, and a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew to search the area northwest of Adak, where the Juris was last seen.

Searches by sea were conducted on July 28-30, and air searches were conducted on July 29 and 30, with the vessel not being found. A search was also conducted along the track of the vessel’s projected drift.

Unrecoverable diesel sheen was located in the search area with the source of the sheen unknown but believed to be from theJuris.

Through an abundance of caution, the Fishing Company of Alaska formally activated a State and Federally-approved oil spill response organization, Alaska Chadux, per FCA’s non-tank vessel response plan. The Unified Command has since stood down Alaska Chadux.

“We have received reports of intermittent unrecoverable sheen, potentially resulting from the sinking of this vessel,” said Ron Doyle, state on-scene coordinator. “We do not anticipate any shoreline impacts. We will continue to monitor the situation and look into any future reports we receive as our common goal is protecting Alaska’s environment.”

The vessel was abandoned last Tuesday with the rescue of all 46 officers and crewmen by two merchant ships and two fishing trawlers. There is an estimated 100,000 gallons of deisel fuel aboard.