Having overstayed its visit in the Igushik River by about 3 months, Coast Guard says the F/V Lone Star could finally depart Sunday.
DILLINGHAM: Salvage crews are making final preparations to tow the 78' fishing tender Lone Star out of the mouth of the Igushik River.
That's according to an update from the US Coast Guard monitoring the salvage operation.
"They've gotten rid of most of the mud, silt, and water out of the Lone Star," said Petty Officer Shawn Eggert Friday. "At this point they're stabilizing the vessel, checking for balance, and making sure it's clean and empty enough to begin the towing operation."
It seems all agencies involved are playing it cautious at this point.
"The Coast Guard, salvagers with the Resolve Marine Group, the vessel owners, they all want to make sure the Lone Star is properly stabilized, completely seaworthy, and that the weather conditions are favorable," said Eggert.
A gale warning is in effect for Bristol Bay waters through Friday night, and strong winds with high seas are forecast for Saturday as well.
"Weather permitting, they'll attempt to begin the tow Sunday or Monday," said Eggert.
The Lone Star will go to Unalaska, but whether it gets scrapped or repaired back to seaworthy shape is unknown by Eggert.
The salvage of the vessel is into its third month. The use of boats, planes, helicopters, and at times dozens of personnel on scene has no doubt been costly.
The Coast Guard doesn't have an estimate of the cost, but Eggert said that taxpayers won't be on the hook to pay it.
"This is all on the responsible party," he said. "None of the money used in this response will be coming from the Coast Guard budget, or for that matter, any taxpayer funds."