UPDATE: F/V Arctic Hunter Still Afloat After Storm

Friday, November 01 2013

F/V Arctic Hunter is partially submerged. / Courtesy of Dan Magone

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.

Related stories:

"F/V Arctic Hunter Runs Aground Near Unalaska"

Eric Osterhus on Sunday, May 25 2014:

I am so proud of you guys.

Terry Howe on Thursday, May 22 2014:

I just saw this on Deadliest Catch last night, Saga hit a rock going in 2nd time, Skippers of both boats are friends.
My thought is the Skipper on Arctic Hunter made a mistake and he didn't want to go into it as there was no storm that night and Elliott Skipper of the Saga kept the deadliest catch crew away from his friend.
Alaska is my home, graduated from East Anch. High in 1962, I crabbed and salmon drift netted out of Seldovia that summer.
One of my mom's brothers was stationed at Dutch while my dad was stationed at Adak and saw the Jap planes on the way to bomb Dutch in order to draw attention away from Midway which didn't work because we already knew it was going to be Midway because of the radio intercepts that my dad did with ACS on Adak. Japanese never did figure that out, that could be the only reason they never attacked Adak which also had a small Air Corps Base there.
Midway changed the whole war to our favor, too bad the destroyers didn't do their job and let that Sub sneak through and finish off Yorktown CV 5 being towed back to Pearl. She is the True Fighting Lady because she was nowhere near 100% when she left Pearl two days after Hornet and Enterprise contrary to what the Navy says about her.

Was the salvage crew able to get Arctic Hunter off there?

Just Saying on Monday, November 04 2013:

This could have turned into something much more devastating,and could still with all the fuel and oul aboard. I am thankful to hear all souls were saved. Now I hope the weather will allow for a safe and successful recovery and to save the marine life.

Lindy Batten on Saturday, November 02 2013:

Thank you F/V Saga and crew for your efforts to save these fisherman - you deserve recognition for these heroics deeds along with F/V Bristol Mariner and crew. Bravo!!!

John on Saturday, November 02 2013:

Said Day when you have to see that. A steel soul about to have her back broke. I'm glad everyone is safe,that's the first concern the second is hers. I hope she lives to float again amongst the waves!

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