Coast Guard: Challenger recovery may cost more

The tugboat Challenger has been raised from Gastineau Channel and is moored at the AJ Dock, but its path to the scrapheap isn’t over yet. Neither is the process of calculating the cost.

On Wednesday, Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Britany McKibben — a spokeswoman for the recovery effort — said the Coast Guard has increased the maximum bill for the recovery from $900,000 to $1.7 million.

That figure includes everything that has taken place since September, McKibben said, including the oil spill containment boom that surrounded the tugboat before it was lifted. Furthermore, McKibben said, the $1.7 million figure represents only a maximum, not what has already been spent or will be spent.

McKibben was unable to provide a figure for expenses to date, but in early February, a Coast Guard officer said $300,000 had been spent. At that time, the barge-crane Brightwater had not yet arrived in Juneau to begin lifting the Challenger.

Funding for the Challenger’s removal is coming from the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Material from the derelict boat has been sent to a lab for testing that will determine the extent of lead paint, asbestos and other hazardous materials aboard. According to the latest disposal plan, those hazardous materials will be removed at the dock, whereupon the Challenger’s hulk will be towed to a beach at the Rock Dump, then broken up. The debris will end up in the Capitol Landfill.

More in News

Float of ducks off Pt. Louisa with Eagle Peak, on Admiralty National Monument around dusk in Juneau winter.
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

FILE - Participants wave signs as they walk back to Orlando City Hall during the March for Abortion Access on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.  State-by-state battles over the future of abortion in the U.S. are setting up across the country as lawmakers in Republican-led states propose new restrictions modeled on laws passed in Texas and Mississippi even as some Democratic-controlled states work to preserve access.  (Chasity Maynard/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)
With Roe in doubt, states act on abortion limits, expansions

“This could be a really, really dramatic year…”

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Friday, Jan. 21

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

Ted Nordgaarden of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation imitates the gesture made by the defendant during the trial of a man charged with killing another man in Yakutat in 2018. (Screenshot)
Investigator testifies as trial concludes second week

The jury watched video of the defendant’s initial interview in custody.

Peter Segall/Juneau Empire
One of the last cruise ships of the 2021 season docks in Juneau on Oct. 20, 2021. Local operators say it’s too early to know how the upcoming cruise season will unfold, but they’re cautiously optimistic.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

Most Read