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F/V Predator grounded for more than two weeks

March 4th | Jim Paulin, The Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman Print this article   Email this article  

The grounded fishing vessel Predator remained on the beach in Akutan earlier this week. Salvage crews were attempting to re-float the boat. A large quantity of Pacific cod remains on board, while all the fuel has been removed.

Resolve Magone Marine Service logistics coordinator David Maruszak, in Unalaska, said his company has been on the scene with about six salvage vessels for two weeks, but didn't immediately try to pull the trawler free.

An attempt on Monday to pull the boat free failed, owing to wind and sea conditions, he said. The re-float project had been underway for about a week, he said, they're hoping for better luck in the next attempt.

Earlier, he said Resolve removed about 5,000 gallons of fuel from the 93-foot-long vessel, homeported in Newport, Ore. The salvage fleet includes the 208-foot-long salvage tug Resolve Pioneer, the somewhat smaller salvage tug Makushin, and several barges and small support boats, he said.

Maruszak said the boat will require repairs before it resumes fishing, as several cracks have been noted in the hull, and that the next step once the boat is off the beach is for divers to conduct an underwater survey.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Ethan Nichols in Unalaska said trawler was loaded with 300,000 pounds of Pacific cod, now unfit for human consumption. On Tuesday, Maruszak said the fish remained to be offloaded.

Three fishermen were rescued by the Coast Guard last month. Their vessel, the Predator sustained an eight-inch crack in the hull when it grounded in the eastern Aleutian Islands.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued three people from the fishing vessel Predator after it ran aground and was taking on water near Akutan Harbor on Feb. 13.

The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene, hoisted the three crewmembers and safely transported them to Akutan with no medical concerns reported, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard was notified that the Predator ran hard aground resulting in an eight-inch crack in the hull. As a result, the Predator began taking on water and the crew was unable to keep up with the flooding utilizing dewatering pumps. The agency quickly diverted a Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew to the scene.

"This case is a perfect example of the ever-changing dynamic of search and rescue in Alaska and how well trained our personnel are to respond," said Lt. Scott Verhage, Jayhawk helicopter co-pilot. "The crew of the Predator was well prepared, having all the safety equipment necessary to help us find them and execute the rescue."

Weather on scene at the time of the rescue was 25 mile per hour winds and 10-foot seas.

"This case is a perfect example of the ever-changing dynamic of search and rescue in Alaska and how well trained our personnel are to respond," said Lt. Scott Verhage, Jayhawk helicopter co-pilot. "The crew of the Predator was well prepared, having all the safety equipment necessary to help us find them and execute the rescue."

Jim Paulin can be reached at jpaulin@reportalaska.com.

 

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