New Chouest tug dents tanker during 'hard landing' in Valdez

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(VALDEZ, Alaska) — The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating an incident Wednesday that involved a new Edison Chouest Offshore tugboat and an oil tanker that was dented by a "hard landing," Alaska Public Media reported.

According to Coast Guard Lt. Carlos Quintero, the tug Ingot hit the tanker during a docking maneuver. The Coast Guard characterized the incident as “minor,” with the tanker sustaining a dent 20 inches long, 6 inches wide and 3 inches deep. No oil was spilled and no injuries were reported.

But it comes at a time of intense scrutiny for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., which operates the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the Valdez Marine Terminal, and the tugboat’s operator, Louisiana-based Edison Chouest. This summer, Alyeska is replacing Crowley Marine Services with Edison Chouest as its spill response and prevention contractor in Prince William Sound.

Joe Lally with the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, a watchdog group that is monitoring the transition from Crowley to Edison Chouest, said the contact was not unusual.

“It happens. I think it was sort of unique in that it was struck hard enough to cause the dent,” Lally said.

Alyeska spokeswoman Michelle Egan said Alyeska ordered an immediate investigation of the incident.

Click here to read the story.

By Professional Mariner Staff