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Press Release | May 22, 2024

Unified Command conducts vessel pollution response efforts near Stockton


SAN FRANCISCO — A Unified Command with representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response and the City of Stockton has been formed to respond to a sinking vessel in Little Potato Slough near Stockton.

A report to the California Office of Emergency Services on Wednesday indicated the Aurora, a non-operational 294-foot cruise ship permanently moored northwest of Stockton began to sink in 13 feet of water and discharge pollution. Sheen was observed in the immediate vicinity of the vessel. Containment boom is deployed around the vessel and the City's drinking water intake pump station. Additional mooring lines were also attached to the vessel to ensure stability.

An investigation into the source and volume discharged is ongoing. The vessel was not in operation but had recently changed ownership so details about pollution onboard during the time of the incident are unknown. Over the next several days, crews will work to maintain the containment boom, recover pollution, and conduct dive surveys to assess the vessel.

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a notice of federal assumption and hired Global Diving and Salvage as a contractor to address the pollution, deploy hard boom and assess the status of the vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard also established a water safety zone around the vessel to enforce a no-wake zone within the area, which will remain in place over the holiday weekend.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network has been notified and is available to respond but no observations of oiled wildlife have been reported. For your safety and the safety of the animals, the public should not attempt to capture oiled animals. Report oiled wildlife to 1-877-UCD-OWCN (1-877-823-6926). This is not an informational or volunteer hotline.

Volunteers are not requested at this time. If volunteers are needed in the future, information will be available

Media inquiries can be directed to U.S. Coast Guard District 11 Public Affairs at or 510-599-0459.