Coast Guard monitoring barge carrying 140,000 gallons of fuel adrift in Bering Strait

17th Coast Guard District NewsKODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard is monitoring a 173-foot barge adrift 11 miles north of Wales in the Bering Strait Wednesday.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders were contacted by the crew of the 82-foot Crowley tug Sinuk at 6:23 p.m. Tuesday. The Sinuk crew reported that while towing the barge the line attached to it broke free in heavy weather.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircrew was directed to launch Wednesday morning to conduct an overflight of the tug and barge. The aircrew arrived on scene at about 9:40 a.m.

The barge is expected to pass within eight miles west of Fairway Rock. Fairway Rock is located about 17 miles west of Wales and 216 miles northwest of Nome.

It is reported the barge is carrying about 140,000 gallons of fuel.

“The Coast Guard is working closely with the Crowley tug crew to direct and monitor the adrift barge,” said Cmdr. Adam Tyndale, chief of response for Sector Anchorage. “The tug crew is unable at this time to re-establish the tow due to weather, but they are standing by to re-establish it when weather permits.”

The weather is reported to be winds of 27 mph and 12-foot to 15-foot seas.

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