Todd Hadfield, right, Phil Sellick, left, and Alfie Cook, underwater, work to right a capsized vessel at Statter Harbor, Feb. 25, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Todd Hadfield, right, Phil Sellick, left, and Alfie Cook, underwater, work to right a capsized vessel at Statter Harbor, Feb. 25, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Impounded vessel capsizes at Statter Harbor

The reason it sank is unknown.

An impounded vessel capsized from an unknown engineering failure at Don D. Statter Harbor late Monday night.

“It sank last night,” said City and Borough of Juneau Docks and Harbors deputy harbormaster Matt Creswell in a phone interview. “We hope to have it refloated and out of the harbor by afternoon.”

The vessel is the Sea Drifter, a 30-foot sport fishing boat manufactured sometime in the ‘80s, Creswell said. It was impounded for the owner’s failure to pay harbor fees.

“Boats can be impounded for any number of reasons,” Creswell said. “We have a detailed process to give the owner the opportunity to make everything right. Impounding is our last resort.”

Creswell said that between one to three boats typically capsize a year. The last was at Harris Harbor in late January.

[Emergency beacon triggers Coast Guard search downtown]

The vessel was leaking a small amount of oil, Creswell said, leading him to place a barrier around it. However, he said it was not enough oil to cause any environmental damage.

The Coast Guard had been notified and inspected the vessel, Creswell said.

“I went down and put the boom around it this morning,” Creswell said. “Better safe than sorry.”

The vehicle was refloated in the afternoon as divers called by Creswell used inflatable air pockets to float the vessel back to the surface.

Creswell said the plan was to pull the vessel out of the water and place it on a trailer. He said that the Docks and Harbors department was still deciding on the best long-term storage location for the the Sea Drifter.

A vessel at Statter Harbor capsized without warning, Feb. 25, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

A vessel at Statter Harbor capsized without warning, Feb. 25, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

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