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Navy Recovers Sunken Patrol Boat from NBK-Bangor Shoreline

08 February 2023

From NBK Public Affairs

A Navy security patrol boat that struck a security barrier and sank on Jan. 19 was safely recovered from the waters along the shoreline of Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor.
A Navy security patrol boat that struck a security barrier and sank on Jan. 19 was safely recovered from the waters along the shoreline of Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor. The Navy successfully raised the 36-foot vessel from where it settled approximately 160 feet below the surface of the Hood Canal, placed it on a Navy barge and transported the boat to an on-base maintenance facility without any safety issues or environmental incidents.
Recovery operations were managed by Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) with support from Mobile Dive Salvage Unit 1, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and several NBK tenant commands, all providing personnel, expertise, and equipment.
The Navy maintained close communication with the United States Coast Guard representatives throughout the incident, keeping them informed of any environmental issues or concerns observed as well as the status of planned recovery operations for the vessel. The Navy also initiated Emergency Cultural and Natural resources consultations with agency partners to further attempt to minimize the impact to cultural and natural resources as a result of the incident and salvage operations.
"Our environmental team takes seriously the importance of protecting the environment and wildlife while supporting the many missions performed from NBK,” said Capt. Rich Massie, Naval Base Kitsap Commanding Officer.
At this time, it does not appear that the incident resulted in a significant Oil or Hazardous Substance release to the environment.  Sporadic patches of sheening on the water surface were observed at the resting spot of the vessel after the incident, and again during vessel recovery, however, those observations were intermittent and not consistent with a large release.  Initial inspection of the recovered vessel has indicated that the majority of oil and hazardous substances contained on the vessel at the time of the incident, appear to have remained contained on the vessel and were not released to the environment.  After the event, and during recovery operations, trained Navy oil spill response personnel monitored operations and maintained precautionary measures to ensure any impact to the environment as a result of the incident was minimized.
"Teamwork played a big role in the success of this recovery effort," said Capt. Keith Fahlenkamp, Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific Commanding Officer. "We appreciate the dedicated support from multiple Navy commands, to include Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and Naval Base Kitsap, throughout this incident which allowed us to safely recover the boat." The cause of this incident remains under investigation. No additional information is available at this time.
At approximately 7:20 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, a small Naval vessel operating inside the perimeter of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor struck a security barrier and sunk. The boat’s crew initiated a distress call and were recovered from the water by another naval vessel. No other vessels were involved in the incident, and all physical security measures remained fully operational. The three crewmembers, all active duty Sailors, were transported to a local medical facility with non-life threatening injuries. All three Sailors were released from the hospital and are expected to make a full recvoery.
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