Does anyone know what the USCG's protocol is for dealing with drifting wrecks that pose a hazard to navigation, besides issuing ineffectual marine broadcasts advising mariners to "watch out"? In particular, I'm wondering about the 24-foot, green and white plywood boat that was reported (multiple times) drifting in Wells Passage and Cochrane Bay?
This is the boat "Victoria" which I spotted upside-down on the beach, on the W side of Wells Passage, about 1 mile N of Pigot Bay, on August 9th. We launched the dinghy and went ashore for a closer look. Found the boat with a 2-foot section of the bow chainsawed off, along with 2 V-shaped cuts to the keel. Roof detached & floating in the surf. Door & other debris high on the beach. Called the Coast Guard with the name, AK #, lat/long, wanted to make sure they knew about it. Watch officer called back in 30 minutes to say they were aware of the wreck, nobody hurt, but the owner lacked the funds/initiative to retrieve it so was abandoning the vessel.
Fast-forward to last Saturday evening, August 25th. "Diamond Princess" cruise ship departing Whittier about 8:30 p.m. calls USCG to report a capsized pleasure boat drifting somewhere off Pigot Point. Watch officer gives coordinates on 16 but no other details. Sounds like an emergency. Numerous attempts by Coastie operator to raise Princess on radio with no reply. We were 45 minutes behind Princess and deliberated up-shifting to reach the scene for a possible rescue or other elevated response, but decided they were better able to deal with it than we were.
We can see the Princess lights fading into the distance past Perry Island, so they obviously haven't stopped to rescue anybody. An hour later, Coastie comes back on 16 with a notice to mariners about hazard to navigation, boat drifting with 6 feet of bow protruding, confirmed no one is on board, BOLO, etc. with coordinates. It's past 2200 and dark on Saturday night by now.
Sunday morning, at least 3 separate radio calls on 16 to Sector Anchorage with sightings of the same boat, latest one inside Cochrane Bay and now 3 (not 6) feet of bow exposed. With luck, the worthy "Victoria" consigned herself to the deep not long after with the good grace to slip beneath the waves. Or perhaps she is drifting still?
Does it sound like USCG did all that was expected in this case? Anyone have info about what happened to this boat in the first place? Looked like somebody's pride & joy, possible home-build (maybe Tolman?) but nicely done, with a Volvo 280 I/O, but puzzling about the chainsaw cuts in the hull... Maybe done by USCG to ensure no survivors trapped in overturned hull? Even with multiple breaches in hull, the doggone thing floated off on a high tide & managed to drift at least 3 miles S, maybe the owner should have salvaged it after all as apparently unsinkable!