Up to 15,000 Gallons of Fuel Leak from Army Reserve Vessel



The crew of the US Army Reserve landing craft Monterrey grounded the vessel after it reportedly struck a submerged rock late Friday night, which led to significant hull damage and spilling of about 15,000 gallons of fuel. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

Jay Barrett/KMXT

Oil spill specialists from the U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Army and Alaska Chadux Corporation worked all weekend to contain and clean up an estimated 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled from a U.S. Army Reserve landing craft that hit Humpback Rock just offshore of Kodiak City late Friday night.

Three Monterrey crewmen suffered slight injuries in the incident. The fishing vessel Peggy Joe transported them ashore for medical attention.

At the direction of the Coast Guard, the 174-foot Monterrey was intentionally grounded after it started taking on water, according to Army Reserve spokeswoman Major Annmarie Daneker.

Two containment booms were put around the Monterrey Saturday morning, but enough fuel had already escaped that a diesel fuel sheen could be seen and smelled along the Kodiak waterfront. More containment boom was placed at the mouth of the Buskin River to protect salmon habitat.

The Monterrey was transporting heavy construction equipment from Port Hueneme, California, to Newtok on the coast between the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, in support of a U.S. Marine Corps mission called Mertervik Innovative Readiness Training. That is a five-year project to relocate Newtok because of erosion and melting permafrost.

Daneker said she did not have a timeline for salvage of the Monterrey or if the heavy equipment would be transferred to another vessel to complete its trip to Western Alaska.

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