A 100-foot scallop tender broke free from its mooring at Lovric's Sea-Craft Marina in Tuesday's windstorm, drifted into the Guemes Island Ferry dock and sank west of the slip.
The decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard cutter Acushnet, 213 feet, was tangled in its mooring lines and was towed and secured at the Port of Anacortes, the Coast Guard and Lovric's Sea-Craft reported. A tug boat, the Hellen S, also had to be detangled and re-moored safely.
According to the Coast Guard and Lovric's Sea-Craft, the vessels broke free or became entangled when a 300-foot by 50-foot concrete floating pier to which they were moored submerged.
"We are fortunate that nobody was hurt and that no pollution has occurred," the company reported. "We are working on raising the [scallop tender] and getting our facility back on track."
The Coast Guard reported that the scallop tender, Chilkat, was empty of fuel and oil. No persons were aboard any of the vessels at the time and no pollution has been reported.
“This was an unfortunate incident," Chief Petty Officer Kevin Ouyoumjian said in a report of the incident. He is with Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound’s Incident Management Division. “However, the immediate actions of the Lovric Sea-Craft marina prevented it from becoming a catastrophe. Also, the power of these winter storms should remind all mariners of the importance of securely mooring vessels at all docks and marinas.”
Guemes Island Ferry service was delayed Wednesday morning until county inspectors could inspect the bridge leading to the ferry ramp and determine that it was safe. Meanwhile, emergency responders marked the location of the sunken tender with floats; the hull of the vessel was visible at low tide and appeared on the M/V Guemes' radar.
The Chilkat, built in 1957, was Alaska's first state ferry when that state's marine highway system was established in 1963, according to online information about the vessel. It was retired in 1988 and purchased in 2012 by Island Scallops of Qualicum Beach, B.C., for use as a processor.