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Refloating efforts could start this week for cruise ship Aurora sinking into Delta, officials say

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CBS News Sacramento Live

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – Crews are now installing dewatering pumps on a decommissioned cruise ship sinking into the Delta near Stockton.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Spill Prevention & Response division gave an update on the status of the ship Aurora on Tuesday. The old ship had been docked in Potato Slough, in the area of Empire Tract and Eight Mile Road, when it started taking on water in late May.

With the ship leaking diesel fuel and oil into the Delta, a unified response was deployed by several local agencies to contain the situation.

CDFW officials said work started over the weekend to install dewatering pumps on the Aurora.

Further, officials said efforts to refloat and remove any remaining fuel could also start this week.

A safety zone remains in place around the Aurora, officials said.

CDFW noted that they haven't seen any impacts on wildlife in the area so far. Notably, the sinking Aurora is in the same location where a tugboat sank and started leaking fuel in September 2023.

The Aurora has a storied past, with its former cruise ship days serving as an inspiration for the hit 1970s TV show "The Love Boat." It also appeared in the 1963 James Bond film "From Russia With Love."

The Aurora has been moored near Stockton for some time now, but it's unclear exactly how long. 

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