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Press Release | Sept. 15, 2023

Coast Guard responds to grounded fishing vessel on Catalina Island

Coast Guard District Eleven

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – The Coast Guard, state, and local agencies are responding to a commercial fishing vessel that ran aground on Catalina Island Friday morning.  

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach watchstanders received a radio distress call from the Pacific Knight, a 62-foot commercial fishing vessel with eight people onboard and carrying a maximum potential 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel after they ran aground on the east end of Catalina Island at approximately 2 a.m.  

A good Samaritan fishing vessel and Baywatch Avalon responded to the incident. Avalon Baywatch transferred one crewmember suffering from mild hypothermia to awaiting emergency medical services in Avalon. The remaining seven crewmembers were safely transferred aboard the good Samaritan vessel and transported to San Pedro.  

The Coast Guard has established a 300-yard safety zone around the incident.  

The vessel is currently in 10 feet of water and appears to be stable. 

The Coast Guard is working with local partners, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response and the responsible party to create a pollution mitigation and removal plan.   

Diesel fuel is considered a non-persistent oil, and in even the calmest sea conditions, it will lose 40% of its volume due to evaporation within 48 hours in cold weather. 

No wildlife impacts have been reported/observed at this time, but crews are monitoring for them. Trained responders from OSPR have been put on standby and will be activated if needed.  

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.