Coast Guard moves on to next phase of Challenger removal

The U.S. Coast Guard has completed the abatement process of the tugboat Challenger, and destruction is slated to begin this week.

The abandoned tugboat was raised from Gastineau Channel at the end of February and it’s since been moored to the A.J. Dock.

Last week, subcontractor Absolute Services removed all oil and hazardous materials found on board, including asbestos and lead paint. Global Diving and Salvage Inc. then cleaned inside the vessel, which involved cutting ventilation holes for fuel tanks, steam cleaning and removing debris.

“We are pleased to see the oil and hazardous materials safely removed from our waters,” said Commander Marc Burd. “Moving forward, being good stewards of the waterway and the environment will remain a major priority during the destruction phase of the removal.”

The Coast Guard plans to tow the Challenger early this week. It’ll be brought ashore, broken down and disposed of in accordance with an approved disposal plan.

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