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Press Release | June 27, 2024

Unified Command completes pollution response of the cruise ship Aurora

District 11 - POC Chief Petty Officer Levi Read 510-316-4586

The Aurora, a non-operational 294-foot cruise ship permanently moored northwest of Stockton began to sink in 13 feet of water and discharge product. Sheen was observed in the immediate vicinity of the vessel and the San Joaquin Sheriff's department deployed 200 feet of absorbent boom around the vessel and sensitive sites. Photo by California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response. The decommissioned cruise ship Aurora was refloated by contractors hired by a Unified Command, July 18, 2024, in the Little Potato Slough within the San Joaquin River Delta northwest of the City of Stockton, California. The Aurora sunk May 22, 2024, with an unknown amount of fuel on board and response teams removed 21,675 gallons of oily water during the response to mitigate pollution to the environment. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Kristina Werner-Meris, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Oil Spill Response) The decommissioned cruise ship Aurora was refloated by contractors hired by a Unified Command, July 18, 2024, in the Little Potato Slough within the San Joaquin River Delta northwest of the City of Stockton, California. The Aurora sunk May 22, 2024, with an unknown amount of fuel on board and response teams removed 21,675 gallons of oily water during the response to mitigate pollution to the environment. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Kristina Werner-Meris, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Oil Spill Response)

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. – A unified command has completed its pollution response to the sunken vessel Aurora, a decommissioned cruise ship, which sank May 22, in Little Potato Slough within the San Joaquin Delta northwest of Stockton.

Over the last several weeks, response contractors, Global Diving and Salvage and subcontractors, successfully refloated the vessel and removed an estimated 21,675 gallons of oily water, 3,193 gallons of hazardous waste, and five 25-yard bins of debris was removed from the vessel. Extensive surveys suggest that no recoverable oil remains onboard. There were no observations of oiled wildlife throughout the response.

With petroleum removal operations related to the vessel complete, the Unified Command has disbanded. The City of Stockton has hired contractors to maintain pumps within the vessel to address potential water ingress and monitor the vessel. Relevant agencies are assessing options for potential removal of the vessel. Out of an abundance of caution, the containment boom will remain in place.

The Unified Command consisted of representatives from U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and the City of Stockton.

Questions related to next steps related to the Aurora can be directed to Community Relations Officer, Connie Cochran, at connie.cochran@stocktonca.gov or 209-937-8827 or Municipal Utilities Program Manager III, Vanessa Piccinini, at Vanessa.Piccinini@stocktonca.gov 209-937-5056.