Five crewmembers from the POLAR WIND were rescued after the tug its barge went aground.
The Northland Services tug was 20 miles from Cold Bay when it became separated from the barge. The two vessels drifted while the crew was trying to reconnect the towline.
The Coast Guard received a distress call at around 9pm on Tuesday, and responded with two helicopters. According to Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley, weather was a factor. Mosley says that the rescue was made five hours later, and had to be completed in two rounds.
Having rescued the crew of the POLAR WIND, the Coast Guard and the Department of Environmental Conservation are now working to reduce the impact to Alaska’s coastline. The tug and barge were carrying more than 23,000 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of the grounding along with smaller amounts of lube oil and other petroleum-based products. The barge was also carrying 90 refrigerated containers, 30 of which were in use. The contents of these containers have not been disclosed and the Coast Guard is waiting for a cargo manifest.