The city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, and Global Diving & Salvage Inc., assisted by Coast Guard Sector Juneau, scuttled the derelict tugboat Lumberman offshore Southeast Alaska Sunday.
The Coast Guard cutter John McCormick, a 154' Sentinel–class vessel, towed the 80-year-old Lumberman, a 107' steel hulled tug, to a position 54 miles west of Cross Sound where it was sunk in over 8,400' of water.
Sector Juneau accessed the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in 2017 to remove petroleum product and again in 2020 to secure the vessel when it became adrift in Gastineau Channel. Prior to the scuttling, the city hired Seattle-based Global to remove hazardous material and approximately 250 cu. yds. of debris, conducted a stability assessment and prepped the Lumberman for sinking. Following environmental consultation with key stakeholders, the. city obtained an EPA General Permit for vessel disposal at sea.
The decision to dispose of the Lumberman at sea, which had been abandoned in the Gastineau channel in 2016, was made after it was determined to be derelict and posed a significant public safety risk.
“Nuisance vessels are a challenge to address. In this case we were able to coordinate the appropriate resources to safely remove the threat Lumberman posed to navigation, the local environment and the community of Juneau,” said Cmdr. Byron Hayes, Sector Juneau response chief.