The fishing vessel Speranza Marie aground at Chinese Harbor at Santa Cruz Island on Thursday.
The fishing vessel Speranza Marie aground at Chinese Harbor at Santa Cruz Island on Thursday. Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Brahm / U.S. Coast Guard photo

The Coast Guard has established a 4,000-yard temporary safety zone around the grounded fishing boat Speranza Marie near Chinese Harbor at Santa Cruz Island as the Unified Command continues working to stabilize the vessel and recover debris and diesel fuel.

No vessels or people are permitted within the safety zone without permission from the captain of the port or a designated representative, and vessels needing to operate within or transit through the safety zone can contact the Coast Guard or law enforcement agency on scene.

The safety zone is in place “to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment” while salvage operations continue through Jan. 4, or until salvage operations no longer pose a hazard to the public.

The squid vessel, carrying about 16,000 pounds of dead squid, ran aground in the harbor on Santa Cruz Island at about 2 a.m. Thursday with six crew members and 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel aboard. No injuries were reported as a good Samaritan fishing boat transported the crew members to Ventura.

The boat, owned by Ocean Angel VI LLC, was also carrying an unknown amount of hydraulic fluid.

“Diesel fuel is considered a non-persistent oil, compared to a heavier bunker or crude oil product, in even the calmest sea conditions, as it will lose 40% of its volume due to evaporation within 48 hours in cold weather,” the Coast Guard said. “All available actions are being taken to ensure the safety of the public and response personnel, recover spilled materials, and protect environmentally sensitive areas.”

The Coast Guard told Noozhawk on Tuesday that the salvage team is pulling the boat off the shore and will assess and put together a plan for how to proceed — whether that’s refloating the boat, using a crane or cutting up the boat.

Response teams worked through the weekend to remove debris from the water and on salvage operations.

According to a news release from the Unified Command on Monday, the boat remains in place and Global Diving and Salvage is working to stabilize, defuel and remove the vessel

“Efforts are ongoing to assess and remove any pollution threats from the vessel prior to salvage operations,” the release said. “Based on the continuing analysis of the vessel’s structure, appropriate rigging and anchor systems will be utilized to move and refloat the vessel.”

A dead cormorant was recovered on Friday, and the Oiled Wildlife Care Network remains on standby to aid with any additional impacted wildlife if needed.

The release also said that all recoverable squid will be removed and properly disposed of in order to reduce the attraction of other wildlife to the site.

The Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the Santa Barbara County Fire DepartmentChannel Islands National Park, the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary and Ocean Angel VI LLC.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Serena Guentz, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at