The Lumberman scuttled - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 19, 2021
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The Lumberman scuttled

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The City and Borough of Juneau Docks and Harbors, Global Diving and Salvage, and Coast Guard Sector Juneau, scuttled the derelict tugboat Lumberman offshore in Southeast Alaska on Sunday.

The 154-foot Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick towed the Lumberman, a 107-ft steel hulled tugboat to a position 54 miles west of Cross Sound where it was sunk in over 8,400 feet of water.

The Lumberman had rested abandoned in Gastineau Channel west of June since 2016 and was considered a hazard and derelict vessel. For years the community has tried to determine its fate. In 2017, the Coast Guard removed oil products from the old tug, and in 2020, the boat had to be re-anchored after drifting in the shallows. The City and Borough of Juneau applied for and received an EPA permit to sink the vessel in a place where it would not be a navigation hazard.

The portion of Gastineau Channel where the boat was moored and abandoned can only be navigated by most vessels during high tide.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Always sad to see an old working boat go t the bottom.

  • Not this one. It was very derelict, had been converted to a crack house, and drifted freely in the channel. In fact, several perished in an ill fated attempt to retrieve their crack in a skiff during stormy weather at night no less. I supposed it did have a once glorious past but the last owners changed that.

  • RIP to the Lumberman and all the previous names it may have sailed under.

  • Who was the last owner?

  • Hey, Crack house is a viable industrial use under the Biden admin. Surprised to see it scuttled given that is now the focus of ICE (to encourage and aide burgeoning illegal drug operations) in addition to the loan program they have established for human trafficking. In fact, I think, if they could have demonstrated the use of the tug for BOTH, illegal drug use ANd human trafficking there may have been grant money available to “keep it afloat” as it were..

    Alas, single use debauchery facilities may not qualify under the new rules..

  • I’m ok with this.
    But are the crazy woke people ok with it.

  • Suzanne, with respect, your article is inaccurate. You say, “The Juneau Borough, Global Diving and Salvage, and Coast Guard scuttled the tug boat. Not true. Taxpayers scuttled the boat. The government workers, contractors and USCG seamen, did nothing more than punch a time clock, do their duty, and get paid (handsomely with platinum benefits). No heroics involved.
    The registered owner of the vessel got away scot-free while taxpayers got stuck with this over $1-million boondoggle due to failed government and justice systems. Yes, taxpayers got stiffed yet again by incompetent public servants (excuse me, I mean overlords). Then, we see articles like this depicting them as heroes… on a website describing itself as conservative? Whatever.

  • Mr. Coogan, I appreciate your forthright comments and I agree that the tax paying folk got shafted here, however I disagree with your characterization of Suzanne’s reporting. Sometimes sir, that gimlet eye’s focus of yours can drift from its moorings. Sometimes a report is just the facts. I do not see the heroic depiction of those involved with this operation as you assert. What I do see is a sad picture , a once proud Boat headed out for its final Cruise.

  • It will make a nice artificial reef.

  • Mr. Schenker, you are failing to pick up what I am laying down. You say, “Sometimes a report is just the facts. I do not see the heroic depiction of those involved with this operation as you assert.” I admit my point of a “heroic depiction” was a bit of a stretch…. but nothing close to your’s of “a report is just the facts.” I believe my comment added much-needed facts to the article.
    Moreover, Suzanne provides critically-important service. Given her level of talent and experience, I am sure she is not intimidated by my missives.

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