Salvage work began off a remote beach in Aquinnah Thursday morning to remove some 800 gallons of fuel from a 46-foot Wesport lobster boat that went aground late Tuesday night.
A Coast Guard spokesman confirmed that containment booms had been placed on the beach and a command center set up with Coast Guard, local police, fire and environmental police. There was a smell of fuel but no sheen or spill, according to petty officer Robert Simpson, a public affairs spokesman for the Coast Guard. The 87-foot Coast Guard cutter Tiger Shark was en route to the scene from station Woods Hole, Mr. Simpson said.
The marine salvage company Tucker Roy from New Bedford had been contracted to off-load the fuel from the Sherry Ann, owned and operated by Michael Kitchen.
The Sherry Ann went onto the rocks halfway between Squibnocket Point and the Gay Head Light at approximately 11:40 p.m. Tuesday evening. Three people were on board. No one was injured.
Coast Guard station Menemsha and others were on the scene for most of the day Wednesday along with the tugboat Co from Tucker-Roy. Efforts to pull the vessel off the rocks were unsuccessful.
Coast Guard senior chief Jason Olsen of station Menemsha confirmed that the Sherry Ann had a gash in her hull and was taking on water. Later in the day the lobster pots and other gear were removed from the vessel.
A Coast Guard command center was set up in Woods Hole Wednesday afternoon to monitor the salvage effort and Air Station Cape Cod launched an MH-60J Jayhawk helicopter to assess the environmental impact and check for leaking fuel. None was found.
The vessel has two tanks on board carrying some 800 gallons of fuel.
“The plan is to start removing some of the fuel and see how that goes,” Mr. Simpson said Thursday morning.