Tug Powhatan


A barge floats next to an oil boom protecting waters and shoreline from spreading oil.

Final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan Released for the Tug Powhatan Oil Spill in Alaska

In January 2020, natural resource trustees for the Tug Powhatan oil spill case in Sitka, Alaska released a Final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the public. The plan includes projects that aim to improve local environments and recreational opportunities impacted by the oil spill. 

The barge Salvation, the KP-2 deck barge, and two tugs tied up at Samson’s dock. The Alaskan Salvor located inside the containment boom around the tug Powhatan. (Photo provided by Samson Tug & Barge; June 4, 2017)

Public Invited to Comment on Draft Restoration Plan for Oil Spill in Sitka, Alaska

NOAA is inviting the public to comment on a draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for projects in Sitka, Alaska. 

The plan aims to compensate the public for the Tug Powhatan oil spill, where the tugboat sank from its dock in Starrigavan Bay resulting in damages to natural resources. 

Case Pages:

Oil sheen, containment boom, and deflection boom in Starrigavan Bay on April 23, 2017. (Photo provided by the US Coast Guard)

Tug Powhatan

Oil Spill | Sitka, Alaska | April 19, 2017

What Happened?

On April 19, 2017 an out of service tugboat, the Tug Powhatan, owned by Samson Tug & Barge, sank for unknown reasons from its dock in Starrigavan Bay near Sitka, Alaska. After sinking, the tug slid downslope and came to rest approximately 320 yards offshore in 160-180 feet of water.