Independence Day busy for Coast Guard in Southcentral, Western Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Coast Guard units in Southcentral and Western Alaska responded to multiple search and rescue, law enforcement and marine environmental pollution cases Thursday.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel and the Alaska State Troopers conducted patrols of Big Lake, near Anchorage, to enforce recreational boating safety regulations Thursday. The joint operation will continue through the weekend.

Coast Guard prevention personnel from Sector Anchorage deployed to Nome to conduct an extensive education outreach to the gold dredging fleet. The visit was part of an ongoing effort by Sector Anchorage and the 17th District to increase safety of the fleet, prevent accidents, and reduce pollution.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage was notified Thursday afternoon by Crowley Marine Services that two barges had collided in the Kuskokwim River near Bethel. A Coast Guard vessel inspector is being sent to conduct a safety inspection of the barges to ensure they are safe for service and don’t pose a safety hazard to their crews.

A Coast Guard investigator from Sector Anchorage deployed to Egegik Friday and is working with the city’s fire marshal to determine what caused the 32-foot fishing vessel Pauline II to catch fire while it was moored to the pier. The Alaska State Troopers and Egegik harbormaster are monitoring the vessel for signs of pollution.

Coast Guard personnel have also been dispatched to investigate the cause of a fire aboard fishing vessel Captain K that resulted in it sinking in Nushagak Bay near Dillingham. The Coast Guard has issued a broadcast notice to mariners about the vessel to prevent collisions and is working with Alaska State Wildlife Troopers to arrange an overflight of the vessel to look for signs of pollution.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage and the Alaska State Troopers are investigating the death of a crewmember aboard the 63-foot Anna Lane. The two agencies were contacted by the vessel master Thursday who reported the man had died during an anchoring evolution aboard the vessel near Ninilchik.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, forward deployed to Cordova, and good Samaritans aboard the fishing vessel AK 4 Star rescued the crew of the 65-foot fishing vessel Hana Cove after the vessel struck a rock and was intentionally run aground on Culross Island in Prince William Sound to prevent it from sinking Thursday. Marine Safety Unit Valdez personnel are monitoring the response and salvage of the grounded vessel. More information about this case can be found here.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage pollution response personnel continue to oversee the efforts to remove fuel from the sunken 78-foot fishing vessel Lone Star at the mouth of the Igushik River.

“A maritime emergency can take place at any minute of any day whether it’s a holiday or any other day of the year,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “As the commandant stated in his Independence Day message, whether serving aboard a cutter, aircraft or boat, deployed on an operation, or performing mission support, what unites us is our sense of purpose and our devotion to duty. I am humbled by, and deeply appreciative of, the dedication of our Coast Guardsmen and families.”

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