Update to the fire and subsequent sinking of the Motor Vessel TOO ELUSIVE

June 22, 2022

On Saturday afternoon, June 18th, the 72-foot M/V TOO ELUSIVE caught fire in the vicinity of Wentworth By the Sea Marine in Little Harbor - Portsmouth, New Hampshire. All three persons onboard safely abandoned ship and were quickly rescued. However, despite the tremendous marine firefighting efforts of numerous local agencies, the vessel burned to the waterline and sank early Saturday evening in approximately 80 feet of water 1 mile southeast of the 2KR buoy at the entrance of the Piscataqua River. The wreck site was marked and is located outside of the main shipping channel.

The vessel owner was issued a Notice of Federal Interest by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the owner has contracted a local commercial salvage company to survey the wreck site and develop a salvage plan to ensure any further environmental and/or navigation impacts are properly mitigated.

Crews from the USCG, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES), and Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) continued to monitor the surrounding area/shoreline and wreck site throughout the weekend looking for signs of pollution. A sheen of diesel fuel was observed in the area throughout the weekend. As of Tuesday morning, June 21st, crews are aware of no shoreline impacts. However, based on side scan sonar images taken Tuesday morning, crews assess the wreck is still leaking an unknown quantity of diesel fuel as light sheening and the smell of diesel remains in the area. Much of this sheen is expected to continue to dissipate naturally.

The USCG, NH DES, and ME DEP will continue to monitor the wreck site and oversee salvage operations that are being planned at this time.

For additional information, contact: David R. Madore, Deputy Commissioner, ME DEP david.madore@maine.gov or

Ryan A. Koroknay, LCDR, USCG SEC N NEW ENG (USA) ryan.a.koroknay@uscg.mil or

James P. Martin, Public Information Officer, NH DES james.p.martin@des.nh.gov