Cutter disabled by towline while aiding fishing vessel

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(JUNEAU, Alaska) — The commercial tug Anna-T took the Coast Guard cutter Spar into tow 230 miles southeast of Kodiak on Saturday afternoon and was in transit to Kodiak.

The Coast Guard cutter Hickory, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender home-ported in Homer, arrived on scene and was scheduled to escort Anna-T and Spar during the transit to Kodiak. The commercial tug Chahunta was scheduled to take the fishing vessel Lady Gudny into tow later in the evening.

Initially, Lady Gudny experienced fuel filter issues at sea after midnight Thursday and became disabled and adrift. Spar was directed to get underway to provide assistance. As Spar prepared to bring Lady Gudny into tow Friday afternoon the towline separated, which entangled Spar's propellers and caused the cutter to become disabled.

The four people aboard Lady Gudny were airlifted by an Air Station Kodiak MH-60T air crew and safely transported to Kodiak with no medical concerns on Friday afternoon. 

The crews of the Coast Guard cutters Douglas Munro and Hickory were directed Friday to get underway and the Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley was diverted to assist the crew of Spar. The Coast Guard cutters Sycamore and Maple were on standby to respond and assist if necessary.

Weather was reported as 10- to 12-foot seas and 17- to 20-mph winds.

"Due to the extreme conditions in the Alaskan maritime environment, it is even more important everyone wear their life jackets and ensure proper vessel maintenance for safe ocean transits," said Adam De Rocher, command duty officer, 17th Coast Guard District.

Click here to view a video of the airlift.

By Professional Mariner Staff