Coast Guard works with Crowley to refloat Twi-lite on Wood River

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Crowley tug Twi-lite has successfully been refloated on the Wood River near Aleknagik Wednesday.

The Coast Guard has been working with Crowley’s operations personnel for about a week to refloat the tug. It grounded while pushing an inspected barge up the river around 10 p.m. October 7.

The vessel sustained damage to the hull in the engine room allowing the ingress of several thousand gallons of water. Response personnel worked diligently to remove the fuel from the tug to the barge and then patch the hull, pump out the water and refloat the vessel.

The patch was constructed of layers of “splash zone”, an epoxy-like substance, a one-quarter inch steel plate, additional “splash zone”, bags of cement with a plywood cover and then braced to the overhead.

“Essentially we applied a tourniquet and pressure,” said Capt. Mark Hamilton, commander Sector Anchorage, and Captain of the Port Western Alaska. “It’s triage for a vessel. Our goal was to stem the flow of water, remove the water in the engine room, and safely refloat the tug.”

The vessel was towed safely to the Aleknagik Lake where it will be hauled out on Crowley property and more permanent repairs effected.

All response operations were conducted without injury or impact to the environment. An investigation into the grounding is on going.

Aleknagik is located at the head of Wood River on the southeast end of Lake Aleknagik, 16 miles northwest of Dillingham in Western Alaska.

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