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Stalled Bulk Carrier Towed To Unalaska For Repairs

Mar 13, 2017

The M/V Ecofaith G.O. is receiving short-term fixes in Broad Bay. Soon, the bulk carrier will travel to China for permanent repairs.
Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska waters welcomed an unusually large visitor over the weekend.

The M/V Ecofaith G.O. was towed to Broad Bay on Saturday after the bulk carrier lost propulsion last month on its way to a Canadian port.

“The vessel is about 44,000 gross tons and 751 feet long," said Lisa Krebs-Barsis, a supervisor with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's response program. "It was in ballast on its way to Prince Rupert, and it had no cargo onboard.”

It’s unclear why the Greek ship stalled in international waters, but Krebs-Barsis said its 20 crew members suffered no harm.

“It was not an emergency towing situation," she said. "There was a loss of propulsion, so they notified the U.S. Coast Guard and made preparations to have the tug Michelle Foss come from Seattle and bring them in to Dutch Harbor.”

A local salvage vessel -- the M/V Resolve Pioneer -- met the two boats near Unimak Pass and escorted them to the emergency mooring station in Broad Bay.

Resolve Magone Marine is now examining the Ecofaith G.O. The salvage company will make short-term fixes to the bulk carrier before it continues to its next destination for permanent repairs.

“They’re going to do some diving and assessments on the vessel to figure out what repairs they need to make to get it safely to China," said Krebs-Barsis.

She’s not sure how long the ship will stay in Unalaska, but she said the DEC and the Coast Guard are monitoring for pollution. So far, responders have seen no sign of an oil sheen.