Dock in Nikiski closed after partial collapse

Heavy seas caused an Offshore System Kenai (OSK) earth and fill dock, with fuel lines, to collapse, Oct. 2, 2019, resulting in the discharge of approximately 300 gallons of oil. Inspectors from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Homer responded to the incident and are coordinating with the responsible party and state authorities to mitigate further pollution. The dock continues to erode, but all remaining hazardous materials have been removed. U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo.
By  | 

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A 50-foot-wide section of the Offshore Systems Kenai dock in Nikiski fell into Cook Inlet on Wednesday as a result of heavy seas, causing about 300 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into water.

A U.S. Coast Guard detachment from Homer responded to the report and are working with the responsible party to prevent further pollution.

As of Wednesday evening, the coast guard says that the dock continues to erode, but all of the hazardous substances have been removed.

Jim Butler, a spokesperson for Offshore Systems Kenai, said that intense wind from an unusual direction combined with high tides caused the collapsed, but the exact mechanism that failed is still under investigation. He said there were no indications that any of the infrastructure was at risk of failing prior to it collapsing.

"It's basically monitored all the time, because they use it all the time," he said. "You're always managing and maintaining it because it's always being used."

He also said that they're working on getting the dock back online.

"They're working with an engineering firm to learn more about erosion dynamics and hopefully stabilize," he said.

The dock has been operated by Offshore System Kenai since 1986, according to the company's website.

Meanwhile, the dock remains closed.

"The Coast Guard is temporarily closing the north portion of the dock as a precaution to protect life and property as well as reduce further impact to the environment," said Capt. Sean MacKenzie, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Western Alaska in a press release from the coast guard.

Copyright 2019 KTUU. All rights reserved.