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Tug Challenger Removal, Destruction Commences

Workers begin destruction of the Tug Challenger on March 7, 2016, at the Rock Dump near downtown Juneau, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Kerry Walsh)
Workers begin destruction of the Tug Challenger on March 7, 2016, at the Rock Dump near downtown Juneau, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Kerry Walsh)

JUNEAU, Alaska — Removal of the pilot house on Tug Challenger began today after the tug was successfully relocated to the Rock Dump.

Global Diving and Salvage, Inc is providing oversight of the complete destruction and removal of the tug which is being performed by Southeast Underwater Services of Juneau.

Since the tug sank in September and through last week’s abatement process, the following hazardous materials and petroleum products have been recovered: 437 gallons of petroleum product, 1,540 gallons of oily water, 550 pounds of hazardous waste (includes paint, fire extinguishers, waste oil, polyester resin, grease), 1 refrigerator, 1 freezer, 2,467 pounds of lead acid batteries and 2,893 pounds of materials containing asbestos.

Petroleum products have been properly disposed of by Southeast Alaska Lighterage. Household hazardous materials, paint, and batteries were brought to an approved City & Borough of Juneau hazardous material facility for disposal. Recyclable metals are being delivered to Skookum Sales & Recycling. All remaining materials will be brought to the Juneau landfill.

“We remain vigilant as we move into the final phase of this operation,” said Bob Mattson, state on scene coordinator. “A 24 hour security watch of the tug has been established so that we can continue to ensure the safety and welfare of response personnel as well as the local community and environment.”

The destruction of Tug Challenger will continue throughout this week with crews working during the day and at night.

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