US Coast Guard Tows Disabled Fishing Vessel 160 Miles Through Blizzard

By Mike Schuler

The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley (WMEC 39) successfully towed a disabled fishing vessel to the port of Adak, ensuring the safety of the eight people aboard.

The initial notification of the disabled vessel came last Thursday at 5:57 a.m. when the master of Aleutian No. 1 reported that they had fouled their prop and were unable to conduct repairs. The vessel was drifting approximately three miles north of Amchitka Island, which is located 575 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor.

To provide assistance, the Alex Haley was recalled from a mid-patrol break and transited 575 miles in the Bering Sea.

The Alex Haley arrived on scene at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday and took Aleutian No. 1 in tow, covering a distance of over 160 miles to reach Adak.

The tow took place in harsh conditions, with wind speeds of 30-40 mph, seas reaching 10-15 feet, and intermittent snow, sleet, and blizzard conditions. The air and water temperatures were at a chilly 34 degrees

On Monday, the 127-foot fishing vessel Aleutian No. 1 was towed into Adak by the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley. The transfer of the tow was then made to the fishing vessel Erla-N, which brought the disabled vessel to the pier at 11:30 a.m. with the assistance of Alex Haley’s cutter boats.

“As an Alaska-homeported cutter, we’re proud to support Alaskan fishermen and, in this case, tow the vessel to safe harbor to effect necessary repairs and avoid a more serious incident,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew? Lynne, Alex Haley’s operations officer. “We train hard to ensure we’re able to provide such assistance when the occasion arises, and our crew executed this mission flawlessly in challenging Bering Sea conditions.”