Tugboat goes adrift off Alaska after steering casualty

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:


(KODIAK, Alaska) — The Coast Guard is responding to a report of the 66-foot tug Capt. Hendren disabled 30 miles south of Cordova Sunday. 

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Anchorage were notified at 2:17 p.m. that the tug had experienced a steering casualty and was disabled and adrift with four people aboard in 23 to 28 mph winds and 8-foot seas. 

"We issued a marine assistance request broadcast asking any mariners in the area to lend aid to the stricken vessel," said Jimmy Belcher, a search and rescue controller at Sector Anchorage. "The MARB has not been answered prompting us to launch the Long Island from Valdez to respond. We are maintaining a one hour communications schedule with the tug's crew."

The cutter is estimated to arrive on scene in about 10 hours. Once on scene the cutter's crew will tow the tug to Valdez. The Long Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Valdez. 

The Capt. Hendren is homeported in Portland, Ore., and was on a voyage from Portland to Nome, Alaska. Marine Safety Unit Valdez will monitor the tug once in Valdez and investigate the cause of the steering casualty.

By Professional Mariner Staff