We were alarmed to hear this morning that over the weekend, one of gCaptain’s oldest and dearest friends, Doug Pine’s tug sank in the Bering Sea. Fortunately, Doug and his crew were able to get into their survival suits and climb aboard the barge they were towing before being rescued by a USCG helicopter with no reported injuries.
Listen HERE to the frightening mayday call from the Aries [U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Communication Station Kodiak]
We’ll update as we learn more and check the gCaptain forum thread for the latest info from members.
UPDATE: Doug Pine has provided us with the following update on the condition of him and his crew. From the gCaptain forum:
and I are safe and sound on St. Paul Island. We’re trying to figure out how to get home without pissing off the TSA since we can’t prove we are who we are.
I’m sorry to have somehow gotten myself into another sea drama.
I’m thrilled and joyous that the four of us make it off the tug. It was calm, cool, collected, and professional on the part of all of us. Not a scratch on anyone. Coming alongside the barge in 6 foot seas, listing 30 to starboard and holding it there long enough to get us all on board was the most challenging boat driving I’ve ever done. I had time to go all stop and center the rudder, and then I was across.
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers, from all of us.
Posted below is the U.S.C.G.’s release on the incident:
KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued the four crewmembers of the tug Aries from their barge 109 miles east of St. Paul Island Sunday afternoon after the 68-foot tug sank in the Bering Sea.
The helicopter rescue crew arrived on scene at about 1:34 p.m. and hoisted the crewmembers. They were safely flown to St. Paul Island with no reported injuries. The crew was able to transfer from the Aries to the barge before the tug sank.
Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel are investigating the cause of the sinking and are working with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation personnel and the vessel’s owner, C&K Marine based out of Anchorage, to salvage the tug and address any environmental concerns. There is reportedly 29,000 gallons of diesel on board.
An Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircrew, dispatched to relieve the Hercules aircrew that arrived on scene at 9:30 a.m., reported a 1,500 foot by 800 foot diesel sheen in the vicinity of the barge and sunken tug. The crew of the 29-foot good Samaritan vessel Alaska Knight is on scene and the Coast Guard Cutter Healy and crew are also en route to render assistance if needed.
The weather at the time of the incident was reported as 29 mph winds, 11-foot seas and a water temperature of 46 degrees.
For more information contact Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally at 907-321-4176.