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Grounded vessel Baranof back at work

February 3rd, 2012 | Jim Paulin Print this article   Email this article  

The Baranof has returned to the fishing grounds.

The Bering Sea crab catcher-processor grounded Jan. 9, at the Little South America Peninsula in Unalaska. The 180-foot former Coast Guard buoy tender grounded at 9:39 a.m. and was pulled off the rocks by the tug James Dunlap at about 12:20 p.m., according to Dave Doyle of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Detachment in Unalaska.

The Baranof returned to fishing following temporary repairs at Magone Marine Service in Unalaska, Doyle said Monday. He said permanent repairs will be made later this year, probably in Seattle.

Doyle said the cause of the accident remains under investigation. The vessel was carrying 23,000 gallons of fuel, but did not spill any. He credited the boat's "ice-breaker class" three-quarter-inch-thick hull for preventing more than minor damage. The damage was limited to a crack six inches long and a quarter-inch wide, he said.

Doyle said the boat was built in 1942. A crowd gathered at the scene at Devil's Point, which was visible from the town's busiest street, Airport Beach Road.

Baranof crewmember Jim Ford said the accident occurred while the vessel was traveling to the North Pacific Fuel dock to load pots for the Bering Sea snow crab season. Ford said the vessel also longlines for Pacific cod. It started fishing in Alaska in 1978, and was named Balsam as a Coast Guard vessel, he said.


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