The 78-foot tug Polar Wind and its 250-foot barge sit aground 20 miles east of Cold Bay, Alaska on Nov. 14, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Benjamin Stixrud.

The Coast Guard safely rescued five crewmembers from the tug Polar Wind which ran aground and began taking on water 20 miles east of Cold Bay, AK at 8:58 p.m. Tuesday.

The USCG says that rescue crews deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman arrived on scene at 2:14 a.m. Wednesday.  The Coast Guard crew safely hoisted all five crewmembers from the 78-foot vessel and transported them to Cold Bay.

According to the USCG, the Polar Wind has approximately 18,500 gallons of fuel on board and the barge is reportedly carrying approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel and 90 refrigerated cargo containers. On Wednesday, a USCG HC-130 Hercules airplane conducted a survey of the area and reported no pollution.

No word yet on what caused the tug and barge to run aground. Weather at the time of the grounding was 6 to 8 foot seas and 40 mph winds.

Photo: USCG

The owner of the tug, Northland Services, has hired Global Diving and Salvage to put together a salvage plan.

Seattle-based Northland Services provides ocean freight transportation between Seattle, Alaska, and Hawaii. The company is especially well known for its tug and barge service between Alaska and Hawaii.

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