UPDATE: F/V Arctic Hunter Still Afloat After Storm
Friday, November 01 2013
Update, 4 p.m. Saturday: The F/V Arctic Hunter made it through a rough night in one piece.
A fall storm with winds gusting to 55 miles swept through the Aleutians late Friday. Coast Guard chief warrant officer Mark Morrissey says the vessel is still afloat as of Saturday afternoon, but damaged.
"The hull has been breached to some extent," Morrissey says. "It is taking on some water."
Now that the weather has calmed, Morrissey says the Coast Guard is sending a helicopter to fly over the site and look for signs of an oil sheen.
Dan Magone, of Resolve-Magone Marine Services, estimates the vessel's holding around 12,000 gallons of fuel and hydraulic oil.
Magone says he and a team of salvagers were able to reach the Arctic Hunter Saturday afternoon. They've anchored up and are preparing to pump fuel out of the vessel tonight.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Update, 5 p.m. Friday: Salvagers are still trying to recover a fishing vessel that ran aground outside Unalaska early Friday morning.
The Arctic Hunter, a 93-foot crab boat, was leaving town to start a fishing trip when it wrecked around 3:45 a.m. Alaska State Trooper Jason Ball says multiple vessels responded to the Arctic Hunter’s call for help after it crashed into the rocks.
"The harbor responded and I heard a couple other boats as well -- the Bristol Mariner, and then the Saga," Ball says. "The Saga was able to get in there and get the crew off, without incident."
No injuries were reported. For now, the Arctic Hunter is off the rocks, but it’s resting next to the cliffs near Morris Cove. The boat is partially submerged.
Dan Magone, of Resolve-Magone Marine Services, says his company is trying to save the vessel. But a fall storm that swept into town around noon today is making that difficult.
"It'll break up out there if we don't do anything about it," Magone says. "We have to stay right on it, so we can get the fuel out before it does break up."
Magone says there are approximately 12,000 gallons of fuel and hydraulic oil aboard the Arctic Hunter. He saw a light oil sheen in the water around the vessel earlier today, which the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation confirms.
Magone says his crew will try to go back out as soon as the weather calms down. In the meantime, the only thing they can do is monitor the vessel.
There’s no information yet as to what caused the wreck. Unalaska’s public safety officers say they administered a field sobriety test to the Arctic Hunter’s skipper, which he passed.