UPDATE 1: Unified Command responds to oil spill in Shuyak Strait, Alaska

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UPDATE 1: Unified Command responds to oil spill in Shuyak Strait, Alaska

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KODIAK, Alaska - A Unified Command consisting of Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation personnel, continues their response to an oil spill in Shuyak Strait, 49 miles north of Kodiak, but efforts have been hampered by inclement weather.

Pollution responders have not been able to arrive on scene due to 45 to 60 knot winds, 8 to 12-foot seas, and freezing spray, which limits vessel operating capabilities and inhibits responder safety. A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted an additional overflight Wednesday afternoon.

Alaska Chadux Corporation has been contracted out for personnel and equipment response. Chadux’s vessels of opportunity, Cecil Marie and Sea Strike, are loaded with 330 feet of boom, a skimpac skimmer and an aquaguard system, in preparation for clean-up efforts. Vessels Tiger Cape and Nuka Island, are standing by as additional vessels ready to deploy for the spill to aid in the response, as weather permits.

"We are eager to get responders on scene to assess the situation and to start the containment process and recovery operations," said Capt. Sean MacKenzie, Unified Command's Federal on Scene Coordinator. "With weather conditions like these, it is difficult to make it out to remote locations such as the Shuyak Strait, but we are working tirelessly to ensure the resources we have are ready to deploy and respond as soon as we are able to. The safety of our responders is the unified command's top priority."

"Efforts to get responders on site are delayed due to weather,” said Geoff Merrell State On-Scene Coordinator with the Department of Environmental Conservation. “State and federal agencies are using this time to develop response plans to best protect the resources at risk for when responders are able to deploy safely."

To read the initial release, click here.

To view ADEC's page for this incident, click here.

For more information contact:

-Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Dean at (907)654-4112

-Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Laura Achee at (907)465-5009