Golden Seas reaches, anchors in Dutch Harbor

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The bulk carrier Golden Seas is towed through rough seas in the Bering Sea by the Tor Viking II Dec. 5, 2010. The vessels are en route to Dutch Harbor transiting about 8 mph and are expected to arrive Tuesday if they are able to maintain their current speed and weather conditions remain favorable. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason RendonANCHORAGE, Alaska – The motor vessel Golden Seas successfully anchored in Broad Bay in Dutch Harbor at 12:52 p.m. after the tug Tor Viking II towed it more than 500 miles along the Aleutian Islands through seas of more than 20 feet at times.

The Golden Seas will remain at anchor in Dutch Harbor while repairs are made. The Coast Guard will monitor repair work to ensure the vessel and its engine are safe for the continued voyage.

The Golden Seas experienced a turbo-charger failure Friday morning reducing the vessel’s power, setting it adrift in 30 foot seas towards the Aleutian Island of Atka. Within 24 miles of the island, winds and seas in the area abated allowing the Golden Seas to regain maneuverability and steer away from Atka Island.

The Tor Viking II and the Coast Guard Cutters Alex Haley and Spar were dispatched from Dutch Harbor and Kodiak to assist the Golden Seas. The Tor Viking II and the Alex Haley traveled more than 400 miles one way while Coast Guard helicopters traveled more than 600 miles to be in position to rescue 20 crewmembers if needed.

“This case demonstrates the extreme distances involved in conducting operations in Alaska and the challenges ahead for the Arctic regions,” said Capt. Jason Fosdick, federal on-scene coordinator. “Multiple Coast Guard crews responded requiring a coordinated airplane, helicopter and ocean-going cutter response. Fortunately the Alex Haley was able to respond, demonstrating the need for Coast Guard cutters that can handle heavy seas in the Bering.”

“This is a very different outcome than what occurred six years ago when the Selendang Ayu grounded on Unalaska Island,” said Gary Folley, state on-scene coordinator. “The State of Alaska is grateful for the efforts of all involved in the response, in particular the crew of the Tor Viking II who demonstrated tremendous skill in taking the Golden Seas in tow at night in heavy seas.”

The Golden Seas is carrying more than 60 metric tons of rapeseed used to make canola oil, 450,000 gallons of fuel oil and 11,700 gallons of diesel fuel.

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