A barge carrying about 100 containers, including United States Navy munitions that ran aground near Anacortes Monday morning is once again floating free. The Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology are working to transport the barge to a location where further dive assesment will occur.
“This response, and the continued efforts, is a success in part to the combined work of several federal, state, local agencies and industry,” said Capt. Scott Ferguson, Commanding Officer of Sector Puget Sound.
The explosives were kept secure while the barge was aground. A 2,000 yard safety zone was established and a containment boom has been deployed around the barge.
U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal technician members and a Coast Guard inspector are aboard the barge conducting a safety assesment. A helicopter survey of the area surrounding the barge recorded no pollution. (Video of the helicopter survey is available here.)
The 322-foot barge St. Elias was being towed through Rosario Strait when it ran aground on Belle Rock about 5 miles southwest of Anacortes. Coast Guard officials in Seattle received a report of the incident at 5:45 a.m. Monday.