The fishing boat, which had the capacity to carry about 5,500 gallons (20,820 liters) of fuel, sank in 85 feet (25 meters) of water, the Coast Guard said. A salvage crew has been hired by the vessel’s owner.
Brian Hicks, the Whittier Fire Department’s chief, told the Coast Guard that personnel from Whittier Fire Department, Whittier Police Department, Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel Fire Department and Girdwood Fire Department all responded to the scene. The dock is operated by the city of Whittier.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
Kelly Bender and her family own a Whittier-based charter. Bender told the Anchorage Daily News that she heard the explosion.
Bender said her husband and son, who is an Anchorage firefighter, jumped into their boat to help.
“They were able to get close enough and throw a grappling hook, about 40 feet,” Bender said. “They were able to just pull it off the dock to prevent more damage. I guess the boat sunk pretty quickly.”