Coast Guard, HAL Investigate Ryndam Spill

Ship releases partially treated wastewater while docked at Juneau; ‘human error’ said to have role in accident

By: Theresa Norton Masek

Holland America Line is working with the U.S. Coast Guard to determine why the Ryndam released partially treated wastewater while docked in Juneau Aug. 17.

The Coast Guard reports that wastewater from sinks, showers and the sewage system overflowed storage tanks and spilled out into the Gastineau Channel.

Once the crew realized what was happening, the wastewater was diverted to an empty tank and additional spillage was prevented, the Coast Guard said.

Holland America spokesman Erik Elvejord said the wastewater was partially treated and about to undergo the final filtration process.

“It wasn’t raw,” he said. “It was treated; nevertheless it should not have been released. Had it gone through the final filtration, we could have released it.”

Elvejord said there was “some human error” involved in the discharge. The extent of the discharge was also uncertain, he said.

“Our initial number is 250 to 1,000 gallons,” Elvejord said. “The Coast Guard put out a number of 40,000. We don’t think it’s that high, but it’s not 250.”

The Coast Guard will issue a report on its findings and has the authority to seek civil penalties against Holland America.

New Eatery

Holland America Line is introducing a new alternative restaurant on two sister ships next month.

The new Pinnacle Grill will be installed on the Statendam and the Ryndam during regularly scheduled dry-docks in early October.

The 66-seat restaurants will offer Pacific Northwest cuisine, including steaks, seafood and wine from the region. There will be many tables for two near windows.

Reservations will be taken for the grill. There will be a service charge of $15.

The grill will be located in space formerly occupied by part of the Explorers Lounge and Kings Room private dining area on the Upper Promenade Deck.