Tug ‘Samson Mariner’ Headed to Seattle for Repairs

The tug Samson Mariner alongside the cargo barge St. Elias anchored in Ward Cove, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
The tug Samson Mariner alongside the cargo barge St. Elias anchored in Ward Cove, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The damaged tug Samson Mariner is returning to Seattle, Washington for repairs after running aground last week while towing a barge in Alaska’s Inside Passage northwest of Ketchikan.

The U.S. Coast Guard approved a transit plan for the tug Samson Mariner to head south for repairs in Seattle with an escort tug. Both vessels departed Ketchikan on Tuesday.

The Samson Mariner was towing the barge St. Elias when it ran aground and released approximately 1,100 gallons of fuel in the vicinity of Rosa Reef in north Tongass Narrows, Alaska, on February 15. An oil sheen was reported in the area following the incident.

The barge, St Elias, had temporary repairs made in Ketchikan. The Coast Guard has also approved a plan for a tug owned by Brusco Tug & Barge Co to tow the barge and continue to Dutch Harbor. Permanent repairs will be made when St Elias returns to Seattle.

The U.S. Coast Guard worked in partnership with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Alaska Commercial Divers in response to the grounding. 

“Our crews and partner agencies worked tenaciously to mitigate the fuel and bring the Tongass Narrows back to normal, not only for the environment but also the local maritime community,” said Cmdr. Michael Kahle, Coast Guard Sector Juneau chief of response.

No sheen or further pollution has been reported.