Coast Guard receives distress call from tanker in Hurricane Ike’s Path

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard received a call around 4 a.m. Sept. 12, 2008, from the motor vessel Antalina, a 584-foot freighter with 22 people aboard and carrying Petroleum Coke, reporting that they had lost main propulsion 90-miles southeast of Galveston and are drifting southwest away from the coast.

The Antalina , a Cypress flagged vessel, is currently unable to steer or make way and is directly in the path of Hurricane Ike. The Coast Guard is in hourly contact with the crew and they report to be in good condition.

The Coast Guard’s response options are being monitored from both the Incident Command Post in Katy and the District Eight Command Center in New Orleans. The Coast Guard’s response capabilities are extremely limited due to the location of its helicopters, which have been pre-staged for post-hurricane response, and the proximity of the Antalina to Hurricane Ike.

The Antalina departed Port Arthur, Texas to seek a safe haven away from Hurricane Ike when the vessel lost propulsion. The Coast Guard has stressed the importance of seeking safe-harbor well in advance of the storm since Port Condition Whiskey was set. The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.

Port Condition Whiskey is set when gale force winds are predicted to arrive within 72 hours.

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