Marine Link
Monday, May 21, 2018

Sector Anchorage News

Shell's 'Kulluk' Declared Free to Proceed

The Coast Guard has lifted the order restricting the movement of the conical drilling unit 'Kulluk' from Kiliuda Bay, Alaska. “I reviewed all of the relevant and available information and determined that Shell has met the requirements of the Captain of the Port Order,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander Coast Guard Sector Anchorage and Captain of the Port, Western Alaska. Mehler signed the order directing the Kulluk to remain at anchor in Kiliuda Bay on Jan. 7, 2013 after a determination was made that the vessel posed a potential threat to personnel safety and the environment after it ran aground near Sitkalidak Island and was refloated.

USCG Tows Disabled Vessel Near Whittier, Alaska

A Coast Guard Station Valdez 45-foot Response Boat - Medium crew provides a tow to the 24-foot Bayliner Herrisea near Whittier, Alaska, March 8, 2015.

A Coast Guard Station Valdez 45-foot Response Boat - Medium crew assisted three recreational mariners aboard the disabled 24-foot Bayliner Herrisea in Blackstone Bay near Whittier, Alaska, Sunday. The rescue boatcrew rendezvoused with the Herrisea and safely towed the vessel to Whittier. Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received notice from the mariners that their main engine had failed and they did not have enough fuel to return to Whittier. After the watchstanders issued a Marine Assistance Request Broadcast…

Drill Rigs Bound for Alaskan Waters Get Green Light

Cook Inlet, Low Water: Photo credit Wikmedia CCL

Coast Guard inspectors conducted certificate of compliance examinations on two mobile offshore rigs heading for Cook Inlet. Inspectors from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Marine Safety Detachment Homer and Marine Safety Unit Texas City successfully examined the vessels to verify compliance with applicable international and Federal regulations. The Endeavour – Spirit of Independence was satisfactorily examined in Homer over Saturday and Sunday at which time the vessel received a Coast Guard Certificate of Compliance.

USCG Aids Fishing Boat Taking on Water

A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew assisted the crew of the fishing vessel Alaskan Pride after they began taking on water in Izhut Bay near Kodiak Island, Alaska, Thursday. The Jayhawk crew lowered a dewatering pump to the crew of the fishing vessel, which allowed them to control the onboard flooding and proceed to port in Kodiak. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a report from the crew aboard the 35-foot fishing vessel Alaskan Pride that their vessel had a possible puncture in its bow and requested Coast Guard assistance once their pumps could no longer keep up with the flooding. The Jayhawk crew responded and delivered the dewatering pump.

USCG Schedules Hearing for Kulluk Grounding

A Coast Guard formal marine casualty investigation hearing is scheduled for May 20 at noon, at the Anchorage Loussac Library, Assembly Hall Chambers, to investigate the contributing causes that led to the conical drilling unit Kulluk grounding on Sitkalidak Island Dec. 31, 2012. The Coast Guard conducts investigations following marine casualties to determine the causal and contributing factors that led to the incident. This allows the Coast Guard to potentially save lives and protect the environment in the future by identifying what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future. The investigative hearings are an essential part of the investigative process…

USCG Monitors LNG Carrier Repair in Alaska

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is monitoring repairs aboard the liquid natural gas (LNG) carrier Excel in Homer, Alaska. The vessel was received an order from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage to remain anchored in Kachemak Bay near Homer after the 908-foot, Belgium-flagged vessel experienced a loss of propulsion due to a failed engineering gasket while inbound to Cook Inlet. The Excel was examined by USCG inspectors from Marine Safety Detachment Homer, who conducted a Port State Control annual exam and verified the engineering gasket was replaced. While preparing to get underway, the vessel experienced an automated engineering casualty and canceled its voyage until a Bureau Veritas (BV) classification surveyor could arrive and verify the engineering casualty was fully resolved.

Coast Guard, Partners Perfom Simulated Oil Spill

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Alaska, personnel along with members of agency partners.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel along with federal, state, local, tribal partners and industry representatives conducted mutual aid drills in Anchorage and Deadhorse, Wednesday. During the drill, participants tested their ability to establish a Unified Command, implement the North Slope Mutual Aid Agreement and deploy equipment in response to a simulated oil spill at the remote Nikaitchuq Project at Spy Island near Deadhorse. “Drills like this are important because they…

Hovercraft Creates Lifeline to Alaska Drill Site

Crowley's hovercraft Arctic Hawk shuttles people and supplies to an Alaskan drill site which became disconnected after the road leading to it was washed out. (Photo: Crowley)

About half a million barrels of oil is extracted each day from Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay oilfields. One of its drilling sites, Endicott, is located on a spit of land connected by the gravel Prudhoe Bay road system and is normally accessible by truck – until recently, when the road was washed out. Faced with the dilemma of how to get workers, food and supplies to the work site, Hilcorp, a privately-held exploration and production companies in the U.S., turned to Crowley and its hovercraft, Arctic Hawk.

Lone Star Tow Operations Underway Near Dillingham, Alaska

The mast of the fishing vessel Lone Star juts from the water of the Igushik River near Dillingham, Alaska, as salvage crews work to recover the vessel Sept. 21, 2013. The Lone Star overturned and sank in 18 feet of water June 30. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Daniel Peters)

Salvage crews began tow operations for the fishing vessel Lone Star near Dillingham, Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard reported today. The crew of the tug Double Eagle, with assistance from the crew of the support vessel Western Viking, will tow the Lone Star to Dutch Harbor where its owner will determine whether or not to scrap the vessel. “The removal of the Lone Star has been a long process, and we appreciate the work and support of the salvage crew and our agency partners throughout the response,” said Lt. Daniel Peters of the Sector Anchorage prevention department.

Coast Guard Medevacs Mariner near Valdez

A mariner was medevaced by a U.S. Coast Guard Station Valdez, Alaska, boatcrew and a Valdez Fire Department emergency medical technician from the Valdez Narrows near Valdez, Tuesday morning.   The station’s 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and a local EMT transferred the mariner to the Port of Valdez where Valdez Fire Department transferred him to Providence Valdez Medical Center for further care.   Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received a report from the 45-foot fishing vessel Newfie Adventure that the man was experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction. Watchstanders directed the launch of a station RB-M and contacted Valdez Fire Department for assistance.   Weather on scene was reported as calm winds and calm seas.  

Distressed Mariners Rescued Near Seward, Alaska

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Long Island towed a disabled cabin cruiser, in danger of running aground, to safety near Seward Thursday. The Long Island crew rendezvoused with the disabled vessel and its crew 300 yards from shore, took the vessel under tow and transported it to Seward where they transferred the tow to the Seward Fire Department. The crew of the 37-foot Mystery Lady notified Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders after they lost propulsion one mile off shore in Resurrection Bay. The watchstanders directed the launch of an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and diverted the Long Island crew from a patrol in Prince William Sound.

Chemical Tanker Runs Aground off Alaska

A 599-foot Norway flagged chemical tanker Champion Ebony ran aground near Nunivak Island, Alaska on June 24. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a report from the National Response Center that the vessel ran aground carrying approximately 14.2 million gallons of various fuel products. The captain of Champion Ebony reported that no pollution or injuries resulted from the incident. An Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules airplane crew conducted an over-flight of the tanker and reported no signs of pollution in the vicinity of the tanker. The Champion Ebony is a double-hulled vessel that had 24 crewmembers aboard at the time of the incident.

USCG Established Sectors Juneau and Anchorage

The US Coast Guard has stated that it established Sector Juneau and Sector Anchorage through the realignment and renaming of various field commands. The changes should be transparent to the public. Source: HK Law

Fire Aboard Alaska Natural Gas Platform

The U.S. Coast Guard launched several assets in response to a report of a fire on board a natural gas drill platform in Cook Inlet Thursday. The Coast Guard diverted a Coast Guard Hercules HC-130 crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to conduct an overflight of the Baker Platform in Cook Inlet, near Nikiski. The Coast Guard also launched the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang and the diverted the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR to the location. A five-mile, no-fly safety zone at 5,000 feet and a two-mile safety zone have been established around the platform. All four people aboard the platform were safety evacuated. "Our goal is to mitigate any potential risk to the environment," said Cmdr. Shane Montoya, the Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator and acting Coast Guard Sector Anchorage commander.

USCG Rescues 4 Near Whittier, Alaska

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The Coast Guard rescued four hunters stranded in Blackstone Bay near Whittier Monday. A 45-foot response boat-medium crew from Station Valdez safely transported the men and towed their skiff to Whittier. Watchstanders at the Sector Anchorage command center recieved a report from the men that they were cold and stranded without fuel or enough supplies to make it back to their camp or Whittier. Command center personnel issued a marine assistance request broadcast with no results and dispatched the RB-M crew to the scene, maintaining cell phone contact with the hunters until the crew arrived.

USCG Monitoring Barge adrift in Beaufort Sea

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U.S. Coast Guard personnel and Canadian federal agencies, including the Canadian coast guard, Transport Canada and Environment Canada, are monitoring a 134-foot barge drifting in the Beaufort Sea after it broke free from its tow in Canadian waters during a severe storm Monday. U.S. Coast Guard authorities were notified on Tuesday that the barge was drifting westward in the Beaufort Sea toward U.S. waters, based on computer drift models. Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage response personnel are working with the owner to develop a response plan, and are standing by to assist.

USCG Issues Fines for Tank Response Plan Noncompliance

The Coast Guard has issued monetary penalties to three vessel operators in violation of federal regulations related to tank vessel response plan requirements. The vessels Pacific Galaxy, operated by Synergy Maritime PET, Tamar, operated by MTM Ship Management, and Yayoi Express, operated by MOL Tankship Management, have been issued a monetary violation for noncompliance with Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 155 Subpart D in Alaska. Vessel operators can face penalties of up to $11,000 per violation, per day. Tank vessels bound to or from a U.S. port and transiting through the Western Alaska Captain of the Port zone must have…

Cargo Ship Guided to Safety

The motor vessel Sea Honesty, a 534-foot Panamanian flagged cargo ship, was guided to Dutch Harbor after reporting engine trouble on its way to Shinizu, Japan, 284 miles west of Dutch Harbor. The Coast Guard North Pacific Search and Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) received a request for assistance from the Sea Honesty. In response to the request, the RCC directed Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley to accompany the vessel to Dutch Harbor for repairs. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage then coordinated with the ship's agent Mitsui O.S.K. Lines LTD, Alaska Marine Pilots, and the city of Dutch Harbor to ensure adequate response resources were available. The Sea Honesty was safely moored in Dutch Harbor.

Three Rescued from Water near Valdez

The crews of the 36-foot good Samaritan fishing vessel Miss Jana and the 50-foot good Samaritan fishing vessel Equinox rescued three persons out of the water in the vicinity of Valdez Arm after their 36-foot landing craft Belltech 5 began taking on water and sank, Wednesday night. U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a mayday call on VHF radio channel 16 from the crew of the Belltech 5 and issued an urgent marine information broadcast. The crew of the Miss Jana responded to the scene, rescuing the three men from the water. Shortly after embarking the men, the crew of the Miss Jana reported engine problems and transferred the men to the nearby fishing vessel Equinox. The Equinox took the Miss Jana in tow.

Coast Guard Assists Spirit of Columbia

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage responded to a call from the cruise ship Spirit of Columbia after it ran aground on the east side of Evans Island in Latouche Passage, near Whittier on Sunday. There were 51 passengers and 21 crew members on board with no reported injuries. No pollution was reported, and no hull breach occurred. The Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore from Cordova, and two HH-60 helicopters and a C-130 aircraft from Kodiak were deployed to assist. Spirit of Columbia reported no damage had occurred and Coast Guard air assets were released from scene. The Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore escorted the Spirit of Columbia back to Whittier. Weather conditions on scene at the time of the grounding were 2 - 4 ft. seas and visibility at 4 - 6 miles.

Five Rescued from Sunken Vessel Near Naked Island, Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Coast Guard boatcrew and a good Samaritan rescued three adults and two teenagers from a 32-foot personal craft taking on water in the vicinity of Naked Island Sunday morning. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a mobile phone call at 6 a.m. from one of the five people reporting they had abandoned ship and swam to shore after their boat began to sink. Sector Anchorage issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to vessels in the area to render assistance. The 33-foot good Samaritan vessel Sweet Pea responded to the call and brought the five people safely aboard. There were no reports of injuries. A Coast Guard Station Valdez 45-foot Response Boat — Medium boatcrew transferred the five from the Sweet Pea and took them safely to Whittier.

U.S., Canadian Coast Guard Oil Spill Exercise

Representatives from the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards, Arctic region stakeholders and established responders are scheduled to hold a joint “Canada - United States North” (CANUSNORTH) tabletop exercise March 16 and 17 at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage. This biennial exercise provides an opportunity for all responders to work together to consult on local issues and improve communications and coordination for potential responses to pollution incidents in the contiguous waters of the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea. Over thirty response organizations and regional stakeholders have been invited to participate. These include the Canadian Coast Guard, Environment Canada, U.S. Seventeenth Coast Guard District, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, the U.S.

'Kulluk' Damage Assessment Continues

Damage Inspection: Photo credit USCG

The Coast Guard continues oversight of the runaway Shell conical rig still anchored in Kiliuda Bay, Alaska. The Kulluk  ran aground Dec. 31, 2012 on Sitkalidak Island and was later refloated and anchored in Kiliuda Bay. Coast Guard personnel from the National Center of Expertise, the Salvage Emergency Response Team and Sector Anchorage have been aboard the Kulluk to assess the vessel’s stability, identify any potential pollution issues and to gather information for the ongoing investigation into the incident.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover May 2018 - Marine Propulsion Edition

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