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The fishing vessel Lisa Jo ran hard aground on rocks in Akun Bay on the north side of Akun Island in the early morning of February 19, 1997 when the operator reportedly fell asleep.
The Lisa Jo was 77 feet (24 m) in length and had roughly 1,200 gallons (4,543 l) of diesel fuel onboard. The vessel maintained hull integrity for several hours, but strong north winds caused large waves that eventually broke the hull which spilled all the fuel. The vessel was considered a total loss. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mellon helped rescue the single crewman. Overflights on the second day revealed considerable sheen around the vessel, but the diesel release did not threaten the two sea lion rookeries on the north shore of Akun Island and no birds or marine mammals were observed in the immediate vicinity of the wreck.
The Aleutian Islands are the final resting place for hundreds of wrecked vessels, mostly either fishing boats or large cargo vessels. The lucrative fishing grounds surrounding the islands in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska attract hundreds of fishing boats every year, often working during the most severe weather conditions. Thousands of large ocean-going cargo ships, an average of 10 per day, follow a navigation corridor called the Great Circle Route which is the shortest distance between North America and Asia. The route goes through Unimak Pass between Unimak Island, and Akun and the Krenitzin Islands in the Eastern Aleutians chain. Read more here and here. Download or open the CoastView app and explore more of Akun Bay here: