An out of service tugboat, the 81 foot Tug Powhatan sank for unknown reasons from its dock in Starrigavan Bay near Sitka, Alaska. After sinking, the tug slid downslope and came to rest approximately 320 yards offshore in 160-180 feet of water.
The Tug Powhatan contained an unknown volume of diesel fuel, gasoline, fuel residues, and lubricating oils and shortly after sinking visible oil sheens were observed in Starrigavan Bay and other parts of Sitka Sound. Over the course of the incident, containment and sorbent boom was deployed around the area where oil was surfacing, fuel tank vents and other release location were capped, and responders recovered more than 6,830 gallons of oil-water mixture.
Continuous release of oil and surface sheening were observed until the vessel was removed by teams including Pacific Pile & Marine, from the water on June 12, 2017.