ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Exhaustion was blamed for a 200-gallon diesel fuel spill earlier this month when a crab boat went aground at Unalga Island in the Aleutian chain, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.
The operator at the helm during the March 11 incident fell asleep while en route to retrieve cod pots, the Coast Guard said. The driver, who was not identified, was awakened when the 94-foot ''Shellfish'' stopped abruptly on the rocky coastline of the island, damaging a 20-foot-long section of the hull, the Coast Guard said.
None of the four crew members on board was injured, Petty Officer Keith Alholm said from Kodiak.
Diesel evaporates quickly so the 200 gallons that spilled was not cleaned up, according to Alholm. He said the remaining fuel was transferred to an empty tank on board the vessel, which is owned by Seattle-based Aleutian Shellfish Inc. The fuel was later transferred to a salvage vessel before the disabled boat was towed to Dutch Harbor for repairs.
Alholm said he didn't know if any citations have been issued in the mishap.
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