September 24, 2015

Stranded boater near Deadhorse, Alaska

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Forward Operating Location Deadhorse assisted a stranded boater at the entrance of the Colville River approximately 41 miles west of Deadhorse, Alaska, Tuesday.

The Jayhawk crew provided a radio and fuel to the stranded boater who safely transited to Nuiqsut.

Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders received a request for assistance from North Slope Borough search and rescue personnel after they were notified of a Nuiqsut resident who became stranded on the ice due to deteriorating weather while attempting to retrieve a disabled vessel. Watchstanders directed the launch of the Deadhorse Jayhawk aircrew.

The Jayhawk crew, along with a Nuiqsut SAR volunteer who assisted with local area knowledge, located the boater and transferred a radio to him to assist with communications.  Once the boater was able to free both vessels from the ice he reported the he did not have enough fuel to make it back to Nuiqsut.  The Jayhawk crew returned with fuel that was transferred to the boater.

FOL Deadhorse consists of two Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters with supporting air, ground and communications crews. Air Station Kodiak is more than 1,200 miles from Deadhorse.

Weather on scene was reported as overcast with 17 mph winds.

September 21, 2015

Stranded boater rescued

A stranded boater was rescued from Betton Island near Ketchikan, Alaska, Monday.

An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located the boater who was then transported by a Station Ketchikan 25-foot Response Boat-Small to awaiting emergency medical services personnel in Ketchikan.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a call from an employee of Knudson Cove Marina stating that a man had rented a 14-foot skiff Sunday morning and had not returned in the evening.  

Sector Juneau launched a Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Medium and an Air Station Sitka MH-60 helicopter to conduct a search in the area the boater had planned to fish.

Monday morning Sector Juneau watchstanders received a 911 call from the boater stating his general area and indicated that he was suffering from symptoms of hypothermia.

Weather on scene was reported as 12 mph winds and 2-foot seas.

September 13, 2015

96ft Tug CHALLENGER sunk

Coast Guard Sector Juneau personnel responded to the sinking of the 96-foot tug Challenger in Juneau's Gastineau Channel, Sunday.

Sector Juneau responders have deployed 400-feet of containment boom at the site of the sinking and are monitoring for further signs of pollution.

Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received the report of the sinking vessel Saturday afternoon and began broadcasting a Notice to Mariners to warn local vessel operators of the hazard to navigation in the channel.

Sector Juneau response personnel opened the pollution response fund to manage the case federally.

Southeast Alaska Lighterage and Global Diving have been contracted to evaluate removing pollution sources on the tug on Monday.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

September 13, 2015

Jayhawk rescues F/V crew

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued three people from a disabled vessel in Bristol Bay, Sunday.

The Jayhawk crew, with an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew flying to support them, safely hoisted the crew from the disabled fishing vessel and transported them to Dillingham.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a distress call from the 32-foot fishing vessel's operator reporting engine failure and a fear that the vessel would drift onto the nearby rocky shore.

Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders directed the launch of the Jayhawk and Hercules aircrews, who travelled more than 250 miles to perform the rescue.

The vessel ran aground shortly after the completion of the hoist.

Weather on scene was reported as 35-mph winds and 5-foot seas.

September 12, 2015

M/V PEGASUS HIGHWAY detained for safety violations

Motor vessel Pegasus Highway was detained by the Coast Guard in the port of Tacoma, Wednesday, due to safety deficiencies including an inoperable fire fire detection system.

The vessel will be required to remain in port until the deficiencies are rectified. 

A Port State Control exam team from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound conducted a routine Port State and International Ship and Port Facility Security exam aboard the Pegasus Highway, a 590-foot, Panamanian-flagged Roll on/ Roll off vessel. While aboard, the Coast Guard discovered multiple areas that did not meet regulations set forth in the Safety of Life at Sea Convention.   

The most severe deficiency involved a fire detection system that was found to be inoperable. Without a properly functioning fire detection system, a fire on a deck carrying vehicles could have burned without the crew receiving an early warning.

During a Port State Control exam, the Coast Guard inspects fire protection, life saving, machinery, navigation, and pollution control systems as well as assesses the crew's ability to respond to onboard emergencies.  A vessel that is determined to be substandard is subject to a detention and must remain in port until it can proceed to sea without presenting a danger to persons on board or without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment.

September 4, 2015

F/V Sierra Allene sunk

The Coast Guard is responding to the sinking of a fishing vessel in Kelp Bay near Sitka Friday.

Coast Guard personnel from Sector Juneau, the Coast Guard Cutter Maple and Air Station Sitka examined the scene of the sunken 49-foot fishing vessel Sierra Allene and are working with the vessel's owner to mitigate the situation.

Watchstanders from the Sector Juneau command center received a radio call from the crew of the fishing vessel Irish when they discovered a portion of the Sierra Allene jutting out of the water.  The vessel's owner reported the Sierra Allene has approximately 600 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

"The Coast Guard is working with stakeholders and the owner to resolve the situation and protect nearby sensitive areas," said Ens. Charles Fraizzell, Sector Juneau assistant incident management division chief. 

The cause of the sinking is under investigation.  

September 2, 2015

F/V PACIFIC VENTURE Grounded and sinking

A Unified Command has been formed to respond to a vessel sinking and resultant 10-30 gallon oil spill in Sitka, Alaska.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Coast Guard Sector Juneau, Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Sitka, Sitka Tribe of Alaska, National Park Service and the vessel's owner are working with Sitka City officials to clean up the spill.

The fishing vessel Pacific Venture, a 58-foot seiner, ran aground Tuesday evening and subsequently rolled over around 2 a.m. Wednesday, sinking in approximately 25 feet of water.  The incident occurred in vicinity of The Twins, roughly ½ mile off the mouth of the Indian River in Sitka. 

The vessel owner reports 600 gallons of diesel fuel and 70 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils were on board.  Approximately 10-30 gallons of oil were released into the water.

Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization (SEAPRO) and local responders began deploying boom around the vessel at noon Wednesday.  Boom deployment was complete by 3 p.m.  The Pacific Venture is currently secured to shore by a line to keep it from drifting.  Salvage operations are pending.  No injuries have been reported, and to date there have been no confirmed reports of impacts to wildlife.

"Responders are working diligently to minimize the impact on the environment and the community," said Bob Mattson, State On Scene Coordinator. "Federal, state and local partners continue to work alongside one another for an effective response."

The cause of the grounding is currently under investigation.

Weather on scene is generally sunny, northwest wind of 8-13 knots, seas 1 foot.

September 1, 2015

2,900 pounds of marijuana intercepted

The Coast Guard Cutter Adelie interdicted an estimated 2,900 pounds of marijuana and detained two people off Point Loma, California.

The bust is the second interdiction of illegal drugs by Washington-based patrol boats within the last week. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish interdicted 24 kilograms of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) near the San Juan Islands Thursday.

As part of a coordinated effort with the San Diego Regional Coordinating Mechanism, the crew of the Adelie, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Port Angeles, discovered bales of suspected marijuana during a routine boarding of the 43-foot sport-fishing vessel Pasa Tiempo. 

The vessel and a total of 168 bales of contraband were seized, and the two people aboard the vessel were taken into custody.

Continue reading "2,900 pounds of marijuana intercepted" »

August 30, 2015

Good Samaritan rescue 5

A Coast Guard Station Valdez boatcrew transported a woman experiencing symptoms of hypothermia after the 27-foot boat she was aboard capsized in the Valdez Narrows, near Valdez, Friday.

A Good Samaritan rescued the woman and four other passengers from the water. The station's 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew transferred the ailing woman from the Good Samaritan vessel to awaiting emergency personnel in Valdez.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center recieved a mayday call via VHF-FM channel 16 reporting a vessel had capsized and five people were in the water. A Good Samaritan over heard the call and picked up the five people and began transporting them to Valdez. The Good Samaritan notified Sector watchstanders of the 57-year-old woman's hypothermic symptoms. Watchstanders directed the launch of the station's RB-M.

The weather on scene was reported as 40-mph winds and 4-foot seas.

August 29, 2015

Coast Guard interdicts $1 million in drugs

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish interdicted 24 kilograms of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) and detained a citizen of Taiwan from a boat near the San Juan Islands Thursday.

The Coast Guard, Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations Border Enforcement Security Team, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Bellingham Police Department working together arrested the suspected smuggler and seized an illegal drug shipment.

The contraband was discovered by a Coast Guard boarding team while onboard the vessel near President's Channel. The suspected smuggler and illegal drugs and vessel were transferred to a Coast Guard vessel and taken to Station Bellingham.

"Coast Guardsmen, along with our federal, local and international partners, stand ready to respond to any illegal drug trafficking which erodes stability, security and prosperity," said Lt. Cmdr. Pat Gallagher, chief of enforcement at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. "It is a testament to the outstanding partnerships we have with other law enforcement agencies across the Pacific Northwest.

The suspect, 24-year-old Wen-Xian Zhang, was transferred to federal authorities. He is charged with importation and possession of MDMA with intent to distribute. Both charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Zhang remains in custody pending a detention hearing Friday.

For information regarding prosecution of the suspect, contact the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington at 206-553-4110.

August 29, 2015

Boat taking on water is saved

The Coast Guard and several good Samaritan vessels assisted 13 people aboard a charter vessel taking on water 40 miles offshore of Ocean Park, Washington, Friday.

All 13 people, nine passengers and four crewmembers, remained aboard the 44-foot charter vessel Playboy Too and were escorted to Westport, Washington, by a Coast Guard boat crew.

One of the good Samaritan vessels, the Sea Angel, notified Coast Guard Sector Columbia River of the situation via VHF-FM radio channel 16 at 9:42 a.m. A watchstander at the sector responded by directing the launch of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Astoria, and boatcrews aboard 47-foot Motor Life Boats from Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Washington, and Station Grays Harbor in Westport.

Continue reading "Boat taking on water is saved" »

August 27, 2015

Injured Fisherman Medevaced

The Coast Guard medevaced an injured fisherman south of San Juan Island, Thursday morning. The fisherman was transported to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles in stable condition.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a radio call via VHF-FM channel 16 at about 7:40 a.m., from the captain of the fishing vessel Mr. Wonderful reporting the injury. The fisherman, a 34-year-old male, was injured when a line parted and snapped back and hit him in the upper body.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo was underway in the vicinity of the incident and immediately responded to assist and arrived on scene at 8:12 a.m. An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was launched to perform the medevac. A Lummi Island patrol boat also launched and provided the hoisting platform for the helicopter crew.

Weather on scene was reported to be calm seas with a water temperature of 55 degrees, air temperature of 55 degrees and 10-mile visibility.

August 27, 2015

Coast Guard boatcrew medevacs passenger

A Coast Guard Station Juneau boatcrew medevaced a 61-year-old man experiencing symptoms of a heart attack aboard the cruise ship Star Princess in Lynn Canal, approximately 20 miles north of Juneau, Wednesday.

The station's 45-foot Response Boat -Medium crew transported the man from the Star Princess to awaiting emergency medical services in Auke Bay.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center in received a report from the captain of the cruise ship Star Princess of the ailing passenger. The duty flight surgeon recommended medevac via response boat. Watchstanders directed the launch of the station's RB-M.

Weather at the time of the medevac was reported as light and variable winds with calm seas.

August 25, 2015

Cruise ship passenger Medevaced

A 45-year-old woman was medevaced from the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice near Sitka, Alaska, Monday.

An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted the hoist and transferred the ailing passenger to awaiting emergency medical services in Sitka.

Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders in Juneau were notified of an ailing passenger by the medical team aboard the Celebrity Solstice.  Watchstanders consulted the duty flight surgeon who recommended the medevac.

Weather conditions at the time were reported as 23 mph winds with 4-foot seas.

August 17, 2015

Unified Command responds to diesel spill in Sitka Sound

A Unified Command has been formed to respond to a release of diesel fuel from the Jarvis St. Power Plant over the weekend.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation pollution responders from Juneau and members of Marine Safety Detachment Sitka are coordinating clean-up efforts with the City of Sitka, National Park Service and tribal organizations.

City of Sitka personnel received a report Saturday of diesel washing ashore in Sitka Sound. City of Sitka notified MSD Sitka personnel who responded and recovered approximately 50 gallons of diesel.

The source was identified from the Jarvis St. Power Plant, Sunday, which had released an estimated 30,000 gallons of diesel into the storage tank facility's secondary containment. An estimated 2,500 gallons of diesel leaked into the storm drain system and into Sitka Sound due to a reported failure of the drain valve.

The models suggest that the amount of diesel that has evaporated since the release is significant.

The containment drain was secured and all diesel in the containment was pumped out recovering an estimated 23,000 gallons. 

An aggressive response has been mounted to minimize the amount of diesel reaching Sitka Sound.  Recovery of oil in the storm drain system and at the outfall of the storm drain with containment boom absorbent materials continues.

There were no reports of injuries, no confirmed reports of impacts to wildlife or the resources of the National Park.

"Cleanup efforts are continuing and we hope to mitigate the effects of the spill and remove the threat of pollution to the environment as quickly as possible," said Chief Warrant Officer Michael Wortman, federal on-scene coordinator. "The Coast Guard will continue to work alongside our federal, state, and local partner agencies in response to this spill."
The cause of the spill is currently under investigation.