The Lumberman, shown here moored alongside the City and Borough of Juneau’s pier downtown, will be scuttled in the open sea when clear weather allows. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

The Lumberman, shown here moored alongside the City and Borough of Juneau’s pier downtown, will be scuttled in the open sea when clear weather allows. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Lumberman scuttling on weather hold for now

Sometimes, it’s like you can look out and still see her moored there.

The pelagic grave of the long-suffering Lumberman lies open, its pallbearers waiting only for clear weather to tow it out and send it to the embrace of the crushing depths.

“We have secured all necessary permits to have the vessel scuttled in deep water,” said City and Borough of Juneau harbormaster Matt Creswell in an email. “The limitations (for) removing the Lumberman from CBJ is weather.”

With the I’s dotted and T’s crossed on the paperwork, Creswell said, the scuttling team is just waiting for a clear lane to safely transport the dilapidated vessel to its final home in thousands of feet of cold, dark seawater.

“(We’re waiting for) seas in the inside waters as well as Cross Sound being calm enough for both the towing vessel and the support vessel to safely operate,” Creswell said. “Those exact limits are up to the scuttling team.”

[Homer residents said home was searched by FBI in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots]

Permission was sought and received from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard for the scuttling on the open sea.

“Once scuttled, the EPA and CG will be notified that the operation was successful and we will give them the final coordinates,” Creswell said. “The USCG is the agency responsible for ensuring that we stay within the limits of our permit.”

Cross Sound is located west of Elfin Cove, where the islands of Southeast Alaska open into the Gulf of Alaska. The costs of the operation will not be finalized until the Lumberman is on the bottom, Creswell said. The likelihood of CBJ repeating this exercise is not high, Creswell said.

“That could be a possibility but due to the complexity of the process, it would only be used in the most extreme of circumstances,” Creswell said. “We were lucky to get this permit so I’m not sure how willing the EPA would be to issue another.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

This photo shows a wolf in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Park and Preserve(Courtesy Photo / Mathew Sorum)
Alaska Science Forum: Wolf-virus study shows the virtue of space

Scientists find wolves with adequate social distancing from humans tend to avoid nasty viruses.

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, May 14

The most recent state and local figures.

teaser
Here’s what it takes to repair undersea cables

It’s a little more involved than plugging the cord back in.

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 Friday, May 14, 2021

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, May 12

The most recent state and local figures.

teaser
State Senate majority leader’s bill would bar transgender girls from female sports

Bill would require participation in a sport to be based on the participant’s sex assigned at birth.

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 Friday, May 14, 2021

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

It's a police car until you look closely. The eye shies away, the . (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, May 13, 2021

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

Most Read