(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Hurricane Michael ripped a nearly completed Alaska factory trawler from its mooring at Eastern Shipbuilding and left it lying on its starboard side in the shallow water of St. Andrews Bay, The Seattle Times reported.
“The boat was nearing completion, and because of all the destruction down there we have not been able to survey the vessel,” said Jim Johnson, president of Seattle-based Glacier Fish Co., which is responsible for managing the ship.
The 261-foot-long North Star was scheduled to journey north next month and start netting and processing Alaska groundfish this winter.
“There is a lot of work and a huge amount of effort that goes into this, and we were so close,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Glacier Fish is now working with shipyard, insurance and salvage officials to retrieve the vessel and survey its condition. He said it’s too early to talk about what type of damage it may have sustained.
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The following is a text from Eastern Shipbuilding Group:
(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — The damage caused by Hurricane Michael has affected our community and our lives. Our hearts are hurting for our family, friends and neighbors as we see the damage caused by this hurricane. However, we are filled with hope and pride as we see family, neighbors and volunteers helping each other through this tough time.
We are currently attempting to make contact with all our employees using our employee roster. However phone service has been spotty and many employees are in temporary locations. We would like to hear from you so we can know if you are OK and your current status and location. If you have not already been contacted by our Human Resources Team, please call them at the following numbers: Bob Babb (850) 774-5322 (ATT), Ed Egert (850) 582-0987 (ATT), Justin Smith (850) 387-6697 (ATT), and Marvin Serna (850) 520-0103 (ATT).
It is our mission to clean up both shipyards and get them back up and running as quickly as possible, and we need the help of each employee to accomplish this task. We are making great strides each day toward this goal and the shipyards are looking better all the time. Many of our employees are back at work and more are returning every day. Once you have secured the safety and security of yourself and your family, we would love to see you back at work helping with the cleanup effort so we can get back to building quality ships for our valued customers.