A fishing boat that sank last month south of Victoria is now ready to be lifted out of the sea.
The near 18-metre Aleutian Isle sank off the coast of San Juan Island, bringing down nearly 10,000 litres of diesel and oil.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) now says salvage teams have been able to rig all necessary cables to pull the vessel out. It has spent around one month around 60-metres below the ocean surface.
They add pollution mitigation strategies are being used to prevent fuel from leaking out of the boat. Dive teams have already plugged all known fuel vents and secured valves, but it is possible sheening will be visible during the lift.
Over two kilometres of boom have been deployed to geographically sensitive areas to protect them from oil, according to the USCG. They say more is on hand.
Once the boat is lifted out of the water, it will be put onto a barge with boom deployed to prevent further environmental damage. After, it will be taken to a mainland facility for assessment.
The USCG says they don’t know exactly when the boat will be lifted out of the water, as it depends on tide, currents and weather conditions.
Wildlife monitoring crews like the Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) team are patrolling ecologically sensitive areas and whale deterrence teams are ready if whales get too close to the wreckage.
The 900-metre safety zone around the work site will be in place until Sept. 26.