U.S. Liberator limps into Dutch Harbor, Coast Guard monitors repairs

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – For safety purposes, Capt. Mark Hamilton, Captain of the Port for Western Alaska, issued an order requiring the U.S. Liberator, a Seattle-based catcher/processor, to return immediately to port for inspection and repairs following notification of a propulsion casualty. The vessel docked safely in Dutch Harbor Sunday.

Coast Guard personnel are conducting a damage survey and will monitor progress on repairs. The 149-foot fishing vessel suffered a propulsion casualty on September 20 in Adak Harbor. The vessel lost one of two propellers when the shaft sheared off outboard of the hull at the cutlass bearing on the port side.

There were no injuries and the vessel did not take on any water. The casualty caused the vessel to operate at a slight list when using the single engine and they had no reserve propulsion system for the operable engine. The vessel returned to fishing on one engine following the casualty and waited for several days after the incident to notify the Coast Guard.

A new propeller and shaft were located on the East Coast by the owner in Seattle, and after they are machined to the proper diameter they will be shipped to Dutch Harbor where the vessel’s crew will proceed with repairs. Once the new shaft is installed the vessel’s crew will conduct sea trials and safety drills to the satisfaction of a qualified Coast Guard marine inspector before the captain of the port order is lifted.

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