JUNEAU, Alaska — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa assisted the crew of the fishing tender Express after it suffered an engine casualty in the Gulf of Alaska, 70 miles west of Hoonah, Tuesday.
The crew of the 110-foot cutter safely towed the 125-foot fishing tender, with two people aboard, to Hoonah.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center received a call Sunday from the master of the Express, reporting that the vessel had suffered an engine casualty and was disabled and adrift. The watchstanders then issued a marine assistance request on behalf of the vessel master.
With no vessels available to tow the tender and deteriorating weather conditions forecasted the watchstanders directed the crew of the Anacapa to get underway, rendezvous with the vessel and tow it 90 miles to port.
“This crew was proactive and contacted us for assistance before this became a distress situation,” said Lt. Ryan Erickson, chief of incident management, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “We recommend all mariners keep the Coast Guard apprised of developments in their voyage that may prevent them from reaching port or threatens the safety or health of anyone aboard.”
Weather conditions at the time of the tow were 18 to 21 mph winds and with seas of 3 to 6 feet.
Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Juneau will be conducting an investigation into the cause and extent of the Express’ engine casualty.
The Anacapa is one of seven Island-class patrol boats in Alaska and is homeported in Petersburg.
The Express was built in 1913 and originally served as a fireboat in Portland, Ore. It was converted to a fishing tender in 1973 and is currently homeported in Chignik.