On Monday morning, May 2, 2016, at about 8:45 am, the 12 year-old, 581-foot (177-meter) bulk carrier MV Argos was inbound for Canada
in the Strait of Juan de Fuca off Neah Bay, Washington, when it lost propulsion and went adrift. The vessel reported that water in
their fuel system caused the loss of propulsion. The current was ebbing to the west, the wind was from the east at 15 to 20 knots,
and there was a 7.5-foot westerly swell.
The vessel began drifting southwest at 0.8 knots, but within an hour accelerated to 1.2 knots. At 11:45 am, with the vessel approximately
1.5 hours from getting dangerously close to shore, the US Coast Guard activated the emergency response towing vessel at Neah Bay,
Washington, Marshall Foss. The Marshall Foss got underway at about 11:56 am, roughly the same time that the Argos regained propulsion
(from a position about 1.7 miles from shore along its direction of drift) and began heading east.
The Marshall Foss overtook the Argos at about 12:45 am north of Clallam Bay and escorted it to Port Angeles, Washington, arriving there at
about 6 pm.
The Jeffrey Foss stayed in Port Angeles for a few hours then headed west to return to Neah Bay. The Jeffrey Foss returned to Neah Bay at
about 7 am on Tuesday, May 3rd.
M/V Gallia Graeca: Loss of propulsion**
January 6, 2016
On Tuesday afternoon, January 5, 2016, at about 3:00 pm, the 15 year-old, 735-foot (224-meter) bulk carrier MV Gallia Graeca got underway from Port Angeles, Washington, bound for sea. During the transit westward on the Canadian side of Strait of Juan de Fuca, the vessel slowed, and then,
just north of Buoy “JA” at the entrance to the Strait, lost propulsion. The vessel began drifting at about 2:30 am on Wednesday, January 6th. The current was ebbing to the west, the wind was east-southeast at 20 to 25 knots and the seas were 6 to 8 feet.
The emergency response towing vessel at Neah Bay, Washington, Jeffrey Foss, got underway to assist the Gallia Graeca at about 3:52 am at the request of the Canadian Coast Guard. The Jeffrey Foss met the vessel northwest of Buoy “JA” at about 5:30 am,
took it under tow, and began heading east into the Strait.
The Jeffrey Foss towed the Gallia Graeca until about 11:35 am when, just north of Neah Bay, the Gallia Graeca got back underway under its own power. The vessel headed east in the Strait headed for Victoria, BC, under escort by the Jeffrey Foss.
The Jeffrey Foss stayed alongside the Gallia Graeca until about 12:20 am on Thursday, January 7 off of Victoria, BC, then headed back to Neah Bay after a stop in Port Angles. The Jeffrey Foss returned to Neah Bay at about 11:40 am on Thursday.
M/V Balao: Loss of electrical power & propulsion
December 29, 2015
On Tuesday night, December 29, 2015, at about 11:12 pm, the 2 year-old, 686-foot (209-meter) container ship MV Balao lost electrical power
and then propulsion about 40 miles west-southwest of Cape Flattery, Washington, while bound for Canada. Fuel problems left vessel dead in
the water and drifting northwest for about 4 hours. It resumed its voyage under its own power at about 3:12 am on Wednesday, December 30th.
At about 4:20 am, the emergency response towing vessel at Neah Bay, Washington, Jeffrey Foss, was notified of the incident by the US Coast
Guard and asked to escort the vessel to Port Angeles, Washington. The Jeffrey Foss got under way to stand by the Balao at about 4:58 am,
and met the vessel north of Neah Bay at about 5:40 am. Winds on scene southeast at 20 knots.
The Jeffrey Foss stayed alongside the Balao until about 11:30 am when it reached Port Angles. The Jeffrey Foss returned to Neah Bay at about
4 pm on Wednesday afternoon.
On Friday morning, August 15, 2014, at about 9:15 am, the 13 year-old, 590-foot (180-meter) general cargo ship MV Jutta lost propulsion in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, off Clallam Bay, Washington,
while bound for Canada. Failure of both main engine auxiliary blowers left vessel dead in the water. An ebb current pushed the vessel northwest in the Strait.
At about 11:20 am, the emergency response towing vessel at Neah Bay, Washington, Jeffrey Foss, got under way to stand by the Jutta, arriving on scene at about 12:50 pm. Winds on scene were light.
At about 3:30 pm the Jutta, with the Jeffrey Foss alongside, began drifting to the southeast with the flood current. This drift continued until about 6:50 pm when the vessel,
now 3.5 miles east of Clallam Bay and closer to shore, got underway under its own power.
The Jeffrey Foss stayed alongside the Jutta until about 9:35 pm when it reached Canadian waters south of Victoria, BC. The Jeffrey Foss returned to Neah Bay at about 2:15 am on Saturday morning.
Westwood Columbia: Loss of propulsion
May 19, 2014
The 656 ft, 13 year-old, cargo ship Westwood Columbia reported a loss of
propulsion at 12:15 on Monday, May 19, 2014. The outbound container ship was
carrying lumber through the Strait of Juan De Fuca in Canadian waters,
north-northeast of Neah Bay, Washington, when the loss of propulsion occurred
around 11:40 and the vessel began drifting south towards the international
border. The emergency response towing vessel at Neah Bay, the tug JEFFERY FOSS,
got underway to assist at about 12:50, arriving on scene at about 13:20. By
14:20 the Westwood Columbia was under tow by Jeffrey Foss and in route to Port
Angeles, Washington. The two vessels were met off Port Angeles by the tug
LINDSEY FOSS at about 20:25 and the three vessels proceeded into Port Angeles
harbor where the Westwood Columbia berthed for inspection and repairs without
The propulsion failure was reported to be the result of a
switch board failure, where upon the vessel began operating on emergency power.
Once it arrived in Port Angeles, the vessel underwent inspection, repairs, Class
Survey/report, which was approved by the USCG to the ship being released for
departure. An Ecology ship inspector also boarded the vessel at Port Angeles to
learn more about the cause of the propulsion loss and determine if any
prevention measures could be undertaken.
F/V Northern Eagle: Faulty engine clutch
May 28, 2012
Late in the night on May 28, 2012 the F/V Northern Eagle was off the northwest
coast of Washington when the port main engine clutch started smoking. The engine
was quickly shut down, and the problem located. The crew attempted to clutch out
the port engine, in order to make it to Seattle for repairs, but were unable to
disengage the clutch. The crew decided to remove the clutch from the port engine
in order to get the vessel back under its own power. The crew contacted
the Canadian Coast Guard to inform them of the incident. They were able to
monitor the vessel by radar, and notify other traffic that it was drifting. The
vessel also established contact with the United States Coast Guard and provided
them with regular updates throughout the night and morning.
The weather was very good with unlimited visibility, calm seas, and variable
wind with 5 knots force. The vessel was slowly drifting south east at about 0.4
knots. The vessel’s fishing gear was out when the incident occurred, and the
crew was able to get the equipment back on board safely, which enabled the
vessel to drift freely.
During the night, while the engineers dismantled the port main engine clutch,
the deck crew started cleaning the fishing gear. During the cleaning they
disconnected the codend from the net, and hung it behind the boat to wash and
After the engineers had dismantled the clutch, and the starboard main engine
started, they called up to the bridge to ask if they were cleared to clutch in.
They were given the go ahead without knowing the codend was floating behind the
boat. The codend got wrapped in the propeller and jammed, shutting down the
starboard main engine. The vessel was then drifting without the possibility of
repair. At this time, the vessel called the American Seafoods office to
request a tug. The office contacted the Jeffery Foss and it was dispatched
to the vessel’s location.
That afternoon, the Jeffrey Foss was on scene and able to take the vessel in
tow. The Northern Eagle, under tow by the Jeffrey Foss, arrived in Neah
Bay that evening, where the tug Delta Lindsey took over to tow the vessel to
Bellingham in order to offload the 870 metric tons of frozen fish in the
vessel’s hold. On arrival in Bellingham the next day, the tug Dunlap arrived on
scene to assist the Delta Lindsey in positioning the Northern Eagle at the
Bellingham cold storage dock.
M/V Tian Du Feng: Loss of Propulsion March 12, 2012
In the early morning hours of March 12, 2012 at a location west of Vancouver
Island, Canada the 675 ft cargo vessel Tian Du Feng experienced a complete loss
of propulsion while in route to the Straits of Juan de Fuca due to a problem
with the high pressure oil system. At 0219, United States Coast Guard
ordered the vessel to receive a tug escort upon arrival at the entrance to the
Straits and maintain it to its destination in Tacoma. The ETRV tug DELTA
LINDSEY was dispatched and scheduled to meet the vessel west of buoy `J`
and escort it to Port Angeles. The vessel was then to pick up a second tug
to escort it, with pilot, to Tacoma.
The vessel regained propulsion, lost it again and regained it by 0730, but
despite regaining propulsion, it was having difficulty turning toward the Strait
of Juan de Fuca due to heavy seas. At approximately 1130 the Tian du Feng
was finally able to turn and head for its tug rendezvous point. The
weather began moderating to 10 knot winds, and the vessel reported an ETA to the
entrance of the Strait at 2100, where it was scheduled to meet up with the
Lindsey Foss and arrive in Port Angeles at 0300. In Port Angeles the vessel
planned to transition to a second tug, the Garth Foss.
M/V Horizon Tacoma: Loss of Propulsion October 27, 2011
On Thursday evening, October 27, 2011 the 24-year old, 710-foot (216-meter)
container ship Horizon Tacoma was bound for Anchorage, Alaska, off Estevan
Point, Vancouver Island, CA. The vessel had a fuel oil capacity of over 600,000
gallons. At 1302 hrs, Experienced Main Engine Critical Alarm/Shutdown of Main
Winds were out of the Northeast at about 20 knots later shifting to Southeast
building to 35 knots. There was a long 15 foot (later building to 25 foot)
westerly swell. The visibility was fifteen miles.
At 1325 hrs Master contacted the captain of the ERTV and requested immediate
towing assistance. At about 1430 Master was notified by Horizon Management
that emergency response tug Jeffrey Foss was underway to Horizon Tacoma with ETA
of approx 2330 hrs.
At approx 1500 vessel was drifting on shore at approx 2.5 knots Master ordered
lowering the starboard anchor of the Horizon Tacoma in approximately 350 feet of
water. At 1532 with anchor deployed, the vessel held ground anchored
approx 8.9 miles off of Estevan Point, Vancouver Island, CA.
Fleet Rescue Center Victoria ordered a Maritime Rescue Helicopter deployed to
Estevan, Point in the event the crew would have to be evacuated from the ship.
Transport Canada ordered Horizon Management to dispatch a second tug to the
scene. At Horizon’s request Foss Management deployed the Garth Foss from
Port Angeles to head toward the position of the Horizon Tacoma.
At 1742 hrs Chief Engineer reported temporary repair completed and the M.E. of
the Horizon Tacoma was restarted.At 1758 the anchor was aweigh and the
Horizon Tacoma began to slowly head away from land, out to sea with a return to
Port Angeles, WA for permanent repair. After the vessel was underway for
approximately 1.5 hrs Foss was notified to cancel the second tug. Horizon
Management also requested that Jeffrey Foss return to the vicinity of Cape
Flattery, Washington to act as an escort tug. The Horizon Tacoma anchored
at Port Angeles Washington at 0906 on October 28, 2011 where permanent repairs
ATB Commitment/650-6: Loss of Electrical Power & Propulsion July 28, 2010
On Wednesday afternoon, July 28, 2010, the year-old, 684-foot (208-meter,
combined unit) articulated tug and barge combination (ATB) Commitment/650-6
departed Port Angeles, Washington, bound for Portland, Oregon. At about 12:20
pm, while westbound at about 16 miles per hour in the outbound vessel traffic
lane south of Sooke, British Columbia, the ATB Commitment lost electrical power
and subsequently propulsion due to water contamination of the fuel supply to the
service generators. The emergency generator came on to provide limited power,
but the vessel remained without propulsion due to an inability to power the
auxiliary fuel pumps feeding the propulsion engines. The vessel’s momentum
initially carried it west, then it began to drift west within the traffic lane
on the ebbing tide.
At about 12:40 pm, the industry-funded emergency response tug, Jeffrey Foss, was
put on standby for the incident. Jeffrey Foss met up with the ATB Commitment at
about 3:36 pm and stood by as the vessel drifted east with the changed tidal
current direction. The ATB Commitment’s engineering crew continued their efforts
to restore power and propulsion to the vessel.
The ATB Commitment got underway for Port Angeles on its own power at about 4:40
pm. The ATB Commitment and the Jeffrey Foss traveled south together across the
Strait of Juan de Fuca, then east to an anchorage at Port Angeles, Washington.
They arrived at Port Angeles at about 6:45 pm. The Jeffrey Foss returned to Neah
Bay at 12:25 am on Thursday.
ATB Corpus Christi/Petrochem Supplier: Electrical Short/Connection
Pin Malfunction April 2, 2010
On Friday afternoon, April 2, Ecology was notified that the connection between
the tug Corpus Christi and barge Petrochem Supplier began overheating. The ATB
had experienced problems after heading south from Puget Sound with a full load
of oil bound for California. The ATB turned back north, intending to enter the
Columbia River for repairs.
Heavy seas and periodic high winds prevented the ATB from safely entering the
river. As a precautionary measure, the Coast Guard ordered the ATB to remain
offshore of the Columbia River bar to wait out the weather. However, weather
conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow the ATB to safely cross
the bar for several days. The barge was loaded with about 150,000 barrels of oil
(6.3 million gallons) of heavy vacuum gas oil. Vacuum gas oil is a heavy
residual oil from the petroleum refining process. It behaves like a heavy
persistent fuel oil if spilled.
The Hunter met up with the tug Corpus Christi at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday about
40 miles southwest of the Columbia River entrance. The Hunter stood by through
the night in case the articulated tug and barge (ATB) needed assistance. This
morning, because of continued rough bar conditions on the Columbia River and a
forecast for conditions to worsen, tug and barge owner U.S. Shipping Corp.
decided to move the vessels north to Port Angeles for repairs.
At approximately 3 a.m., Monday, April 5, The Corpus Christi safely arrived in
Port Angeles, where repairs are to be done. The vessel will be inspected by
vessel inspectors from the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Ecology.
M/V Horizon Tacoma: Loss of Propulsion Due to Emergency Shutdown** March 2, 2010
On Tuesday evening, March 2, 2010, the 23-year old, 710-foot (216-meter)
container ship Horizon Tacoma was inbound for Tacoma, Washington, off Neah Bay,
Washington. The vessel had a fuel oil capacity of over 600,000 gallons. At 10:18
p.m., a fire alarm sounded for the ship’s engine room. The ship’s crew saw heavy
smoke in the engine room coming from one of the ship’s main propulsion engine
turbochargers. They shut down the main engine to prevention further damage.
At 10:26 p.m., the Horizon Tacoma called the U.S. Coast Guard’s Puget Sound
Vessel Traffic Service (PSVTS) to report the loss of propulsion. At about 10:28
p.m. the Horizon Tacoma contacted the state-funded emergency response tug at Neah Bay, the Crowley tug,
Hunter, and requested assistance. By 10:38 p.m., the
ship’s crew had confirmation that there was no fire in the engine room.
At about 10:34 p.m., the Hunter got underway and reached the scene by 11 p.m.
Ecology released the Hunter to render aid as required to the drifting vessel.
Towlines were passed between the Hunter and the Horizon Tacoma and the towing
operation began at about 11:16 p.m. At about 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday, the PSVTS
was advised that the Horizon Tacoma would be towed to Tacoma by the Hunter with
the Garth Foss trailing. The Crowley tug Valor was dispatched to stand by at Neah Bay while the
Hunter was absent.
At 6:45 a.m., the Hunter towed the Horizon Tacoma into Port Angeles harbor to
pick up engine technicians and parts. By 7:27 a.m. the vessels were back under
way for Tacoma, Washington. The Garth Foss was relieved by the Andrew Foss off
Seattle. They arrived in Tacoma at 6:50 p.m. After a stop for refueling, the
Hunter was back on station in Neah Bay at 10:40 p.m. on March 4, having logged
about 170 miles during its journey.
F/V Misty Dawn: Grounding** October 3, 2009
In the early morning hours of Oct. 4, the state-funded emergency tug,
responded to a 100-foot fishing vessel that ran aground near Neah Bay. The tug
arrived on scene to assist the Misty Dawn which grounded itself at Baada Point
near the southern entrance to Neah Bay. The Hunter checked the area but didn’t
detect any fuel spilled to the water.
After the Misty Dawn crew verified its vessel’s steel hull was still intact and
transferred fuel to other tanks to minimize any risk of a spill, the Hunter crew
used a line to help pull the boat back into deeper waters. The Misty Dawn
returned to port in Neah Bay after the incident.
The Misty Dawn had the potential to carry 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel although
it is unclear exactly how much was onboard at the time of the grounding.
The Washington Department of Ecology received calls shortly after midnight Oct.
4 and coordinated response with the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard issued a
captain-of-the-port order requiring the Misty Dawn prove its seaworthiness
before it can leave the port.
M/V Vijitra Naree: Loss of Propulsion Due to Emergency Shutdown March 9, 2009
At about 11:30 a.m. on March 9, 2009, the captain of the
Vijitra Naree, a 12
year old, 541-foot grain ship, which is empty and in-ballast, notified the U.S.
Coast Guard that the vessel had excessive main engine exhaust gas temperature
requiring them to shut down their main propulsion engine. At about noon, the
vessel purposely shutdown its engine and drifted south towards Duntze Rock.
The ship, owned by Precious Orchids, Ltd. had been heading into the Strait of
Juan de Fuca, with a final destination of the Port of Vancouver, British
Columbia. It has a diesel fuel capacity of 474,222 gallons.
Ecology directed the state-funded Neah Bay emergency response tug Hunter to
render aid as required. Hunter arrived at 1 p.m. to assist the cargo ship. Winds
were easterly at 10-15 miles per hour and sea swells at about six feet.
Shortly after the Hunter reached the Vijitra Naree, the vessel got under way
using its own engine with reduced power after isolating one of the engine
cylinders. Hunter escorted the ship as it re-entered the eastbound traffic
lanes. At approximately 2:15 p.m., the U. S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port
issued an Order requiring the ship to have a tug escort during its transit of
United States’ waters en route to Canada.
F/V Papado II: Flooding & Loss of Propulsion** September 17, 2008
On Wednesday, September 17, Crowley Marine’s
Hunter, the state-funded emergency
response tug stationed at Neah Bay, was dispatched at 12:30 a.m. to assist a
106-foot fishing vessel after it lost propulsion at sea.
The Papado II was about 27 miles southwest of Cape Flattery when it became
disabled. Sea water leaked into the engine room, causing the main engine to
become inoperable. Crew stopped the leak and pumped out the water pumped so the
vessel was not at risk of sinking, but the vessel could not restart its main
propulsion engine. There was no indication of an oil spill.
At the time of the call, there were light southerly winds (approximately 15
knots) with patches of dense fog. The Papado II was in no immediate danger but
was drifting at sea. The vessel owner requested a tow back to his homeport at Neah Bay where repairs could be made.
The Hunter and the Papado II arrived safely at Neah Bay at approximately 1 p.m.
M/V Star Indiana: Loss of Propulsion February 27, 2008
On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, at about 3:30 a.m., the 8-year old, 607-foot
(185-meter) cargo ship Star Indiana was in-bound from Los Angeles, California to
Campbell River, British Columbia, and notified the U.S. Coast Guard of a loss of
propulsion just north of Neah Bay, Washington. A fuel pump had failed.
The ship restored propulsion, but lost it again a short time later for about 30
minutes. The Coast Guard issued a Captain of the Port order requiring a tug
escort for the container ship during its transit of United States’ waters in
route to Canada.
At 4 a.m., the U.S. Coast Guard in Seattle requested the services of the
state-funded emergency response tug, Gladiator, at Neah Bay, Washington. Ecology
released the Gladiator to provide escort/towing assistance as necessary.
The Gladiator met the Star Indiana at about 6 a.m. about 8 miles east of Clallam
Bay, Washington (about 23 miles east of Neah Bay. The Gladiator accompanied the
Star Indiana to about 20 miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. At 6:40 a.m. it
turned over escort of the ship to another tug, Hunter.
The Star Indiana arrived at the Constance Bank anchorage, off Victoria, about
9:30 a.m. for assessment and repairs. The Gladiator was back on station at about
M/V APL Australia: Loss of Steering February 7, 2008
On Thursday, February 7, 2008, the 5-year old, 918-foot (280-meter) container
ship APL Australia was in-bound from sea for Seattle, Washington, and notified
the U.S. Coast Guard of an inoperable secondary hydraulic steering control unit.
The vessel was steering using the primary unit. Due to high winds and other
unfavorable sea and weather conditions, the Coast Guard issued a Captain of the
Port order requiring a tug escort for the container ship all the way to its
destination in Seattle.
At 10:30 a.m., Gladiator, the state-funded emergency response tug at Neah Bay,
Washington, was notified that it would be used to escort the ship later in the
day. Ecology released the Gladiator to serve as the escort upon the APL
Australia’s entry into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Gladiator met the APL Australia at 6 p.m. about 10 miles northwest of Cape
Flattery, Washington. The Gladiator accompanied the APL Australia for about 30
miles to a location just north of Clallam Bay, Washington. At 8:35 p.m. it
turned over escort of the ship to another tug, Hunter. The Gladiator was back on
station at about 9 p.m.
M/V Global Ace: Loss of Propulsion Due to Emergency Shutdown February 5, 2008
On Tuesday, February 5, 2008, at about 1:20 p.m. the 11-year old, 540-foot
(165-meter) bulk carrier Global Ace was out-bound from Vancouver, British
Columbia, when it experienced a main engine problem, shut down for repairs, and
began drifting in the Strait of Juan de Fuca west of Port Angeles, Washington.
The winds were southwest at 30 to 35 knots with gusts in excess of 40 knots.
Seas were 6 feet.
The ship’s master notified the U.S. Coast Guard’s Puget Sound Vessel Traffic
Service of the engine problem and requested the ship be permitted to proceed to
sea to make repairs. The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian ship authorities
consulted and determined that seas were too heavy for the repairs to occur at
sea. The ship was given until 2:50 p.m. to make repairs. If it could not make
repairs by then it would be required to proceed under reduced power and anchor
off Victoria, BC for repairs. At 2:35 p.m. the ship drifted into U.S. waters.
At 2:40 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard in Seattle requested the services of the
state-funded emergency response tug at Neah Bay, Washington, Gladiator. Ecology
released the Gladiator which was underway near Clallam Bay, Washington, to
provide escort/towing assistance as necessary. At 3:20 p.m. the U.S. Coast Guard
issued an order for the vessel to obtain the services of a tug and to proceed to
Port Angeles, Washington, for repairs and inspection.
The Gladiator traveled about 12 miles, and met the Global Ace at about 3:45 p.m.
The Gladiator escorted the Global Ace to Port Angeles, where it anchored at 7:47
p.m. Gladiator stood by the ship until repairs were completed. The Gladiator was
back on station at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, February 6. The Global Ace was cleared
by the U.S. Coast Guard to depart on Wednesday at 5 a.m.
Tug Joe Foss: Flooding January 20, 2008
On Sunday, January 20, 2008, the 40-year old, 42-foot (13-meter) tug Joe Foss
was south-bound off the northern Washington coast from Seattle to Depoe Bay,
Oregon. At about 8 p.m. the captain of the Joe Foss notified the U.S. Coast
Guard that they were flooding and needed assistance.
Coast Guard Station Quillayute River sent two 47-foot motor lifeboats and Coast
Guard Air Station Port Angeles launched a helicopter to deliver dewatering pumps
to Joe Foss. At approximately 8:20 p.m., while the state-funded emergency
response tug, Gladiator, was underway on standby near its home port at Neah Bay,
Washington, Coast Guard Sector Seattle requested it to proceed offshore to meet
Joe Foss and provide salvage/towing assistance if necessary. Ecology agreed with
the Coast Guard’s assessment, and released the Gladiator from standby position
The winds were easterly at 35 knots. There were eight- to ten-foot westerly
The Gladiator traveled 24 miles, and was within 3.5 miles of the Joe Foss when
at 10:22 p.m. the Coast Guard advised the Gladiator’s captain that their 47-foot
motor life boats were on scene and Joe Foss had controlled the flooding and the
situation no longer required Gladiator’s assistance. The Gladiator returned to Neah Bay.
The Joe Foss put in the next morning at La Push, Washington, where the crew made
repairs. The vessel got underway again but ran into further trouble Wednesday
off the Oregon coast. The vessel sank in 210 feet of water near Tillamook.
All three crew members were rescued by the fishing vessel Kilchis before the tug
sank. The crew was then transferred to a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Coast Guard
Station Tillamook Bay. The tug had 1,300 gallons of fuel onboard when it went
down. A U.S. Coast Guard over flight did not reveal signs of debris or sheen.
Tug Na Hoku/ T/B Noho Hele: Loss of Electrical Power & Steering December 11, 2007
On Tuesday, December 11, 2007, at about 9:55 p.m. the 26-year old, 105-foot
(32-meter) towing vessel Na Hoku suffered an electrical power generator failure
while about thirteen miles off the Washington coast while in route to Portland,
Oregon from Port Angeles, Washington. Na Hoku was towing the single-hulled tank
barge, Noho Hele, laden with 48,000 barrels of diesel oil and 11,000 barrels of
gasoline and heading south-southwest just west of the Olympic Coast National
Marine Sanctuary Area-to-be-Avoided (ATBA). The tug’s generator shut-down due to
an over-heating problem. The loss of electrical power disabled the Na Hoku’s
main steering system, allowing only intermittent adjustment of the rudder
position. The tug’s master continued to control the tug and barge using the
tug’s twin propellers, holding position until electrical power could be
The winds were westerly at 20 to 30 knots. Seas were eight to ten feet.
The state-funded rescue tug, Gladiator, was at its home port at Neah Bay,
Washington, when Ecology released it to perform escort duty. The Gladiator was
in route at about 11:00 p.m.
After a delay due to electrical problems with the Na Hoku’s second generator,
the crew of the tug restored electrical power at about 11:30 p.m. and headed
back for the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The U.S. Coast Guard advised the Na Hoku’s
Master that a tug escort was required to transit east-bound through the Strait
of Juan de Fuca.
The Gladiator met the Na Hoku at about 1:10 a.m., December 12, about six miles
west of the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and escorted it to about 15
miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. Gladiator was released from escort duty
at about 7:40 a.m. The Na Hoku continued east to Port Angeles. The Gladiator
returned to its Neah Bay base at 10:55 a.m.
M/V Kauai: Loss of Steering Due to Storm Damage December 3, 2007
On Monday, December 3, 2007, at about 12:25 a.m. the 27-year old, 720-foot
(220-meter) container ship Kauai was outbound from Seattle, Washington.
Kauai was heading south-southeast about 90 miles west of the entrance to the
Columbia River in route to Oakland, California, when it was reportedly struck by
60-foot waves. The waves broke six wheelhouse windows, located over 80 feet
above the water, flooding the ship’s navigation bridge with seawater and
damaging equipment. The ship’s primary steering control system was disabled by
The ship's crew reported the winds were south at 64 knots.
The Kauai turned around and headed back for the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the
The U.S. Coast Guard advised the ship’s Master that a tug escort was required
from Buoy "J" to Seattle. The state-funded rescue tug, Gladiator, was in the
vicinity of its home port at Neah Bay, Washington, when Ecology released it to
perform escort duty. The Gladiator got underway at about 10 a.m.
The Gladiator met the Kauai at about 10:30 a.m. near the entrance to the Strait
of Juan de Fuca and escorted it to about 20 miles west of Port Angeles,
Washington. The Gladiator was relieved of its escort duty by the tug
Foss at about 1:10 p.m. The Gladiator returned to its Neah Bay base at 5:20 p.m.
The Kauai returned to Seattle for repairs.
On Wednesday evening, May 2, 2007, the 8-year old, 795-foot (243-meter) tank
ship Sanko Dynasty reported a steering problem to the U.S. Coast Guard. The ship
was loaded with crude oil inbound from Singapore to Anacortes, Washington. The
U.S. Coast Guard advised the ship’s Master that a tug escort was required.
The state-funded rescue tug, Gladiator, was at its home port at Neah Bay,
Washington when Ecology released it to perform escort duty for the Sanko
Dynasty. The Gladiator got underway at about 3:45 a.m. on May 3rd.
The Gladiator met the Sanko Dynasty just south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca
entrance buoy at about 5:45 a.m. It escorted the ship, with assistance of other
tugs, to its destination at Anacortes, Washington.
The Gladiator did not return to Neah Bay because the incident occurred on the
last day the tug was funded by Washington State to remain at Neah Bay as a
dedicated rescue tug.
M/V Scotland: Loss of Electrical Power April 26, 2007
On Thursday, April 26, 2007, at about 7:30 p.m. the 23-year old, 758-foot
(231-meter) container ship Scotland lost electrical power as the result of a
main generator problem and went briefly adrift while inbound for Tacoma,
Washington. The Scotland was about 8 miles northwest of Cape Flattery,
Washington. Winds were south-southwesterly at about 20 knots. Seas were about 9
foot. There was an ebb current setting west-northwesterly at about ½ knot.
The state-funded rescue tug, Gladiator, was at its home port at Neah Bay,
Washington when Ecology directed it to meet the ship. The Gladiator got underway
at about 7:50 p.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard directed the Scotland to move offshore until a tug escort
could be arranged. The Scotland complied, and using a back-up generator, headed
west. The Scotland reached position about 33 miles west-northwest of Cape
Flattery by about 10:15 p.m. Meanwhile, the Gladiator waited near the entrance
to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, just north of Cape Flattery.
At about 11 p.m. the Scotland turned and headed west towards the Strait,
apparently pausing briefly at 11:20 p.m. to change power supply back to a main
generator. The Gladiator met the Scotland at about 1 a.m. on Friday, April 27th
in a position about 10 miles northwest of Cape Flattery.
The Gladiator escorted the Scotland to Port Angeles, Washington where it was
relieved of its escort duty by the tug Jeffrey Foss at about 6 a.m. The
Gladiator returned to its Neah Bay base at 10:30 a.m.
M/V Meridian Navigator: Loss of Propulsion March 31, 2007
On Wednesday, March 21, 2007, the 23-year old, 574-foot (175-meter) bulk cargo
vessel Meridian Navigator lost propulsion in Canadian waters of the Strait of
Juan de Fuca about 19 miles west-northwest of Port Angeles, Washington. Winds
were southeasterly at about 5 to 10 knots. Wind waves were about 1 foot with a
3-foot westerly swell. There was an ebb current setting west-northwesterly.
At around 7:30 a.m., the state-funded rescue tug, Gladiator, was at its home
port at Neah Bay, Washington when Ecology directed it to attend the drifting
ship. The Gladiator, traveling east-bound in the Strait, arrived at the
Navigator at about 9:50 a.m. and stood by. The Meridian Navigator was drifting
west-northwest at about 2 knots in the vicinity of the US-Canadian border.
Transport Canada and the US Coast Guard, unable to get clear information on when
the ship would be repaired, required that the ship obtain the services of a tug
and accept a tow line if necessary. The Master of the Meridian Navigator refused
to contract with the Gladiator for assistance.
The Meridian Navigator completed repairs at about 11:10 a.m. and traveled
out-bound in Canadian waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Ecology directed the
Gladiator to remain near the Meridian Navigator during its transit of the Strait
at the State of Washington’s expense.
The Gladiator escorted the ship to the western entrance to the Strait of Juan de
Fuca until 1:30 p.m. and then returned to its Neah Bay base at 2:20 p.m.
M/V Khorol: Loss of Propulsion** March 3, 2007
On Friday, March 2, 2007, the 17-year old, 377-foot (115-meter) refrigerated
cargo vessel Khorol lost propulsion about 6.5 miles off Cape Flattery,
Washington. Winds were easterly at about 15 to 20 knots. Seas were about 5 to 8
At around 7:20 p.m., the state-funded rescue tug, Gladiator, was underway near
its home port at Neah Bay, Washington when it was informed of the disabled ship.
The Gladiator headed towards the ship’s position. The Khorol regained propulsion
approximately 50 minutes later. The Coast Guard ordered the Khorol to proceed
farther out to sea, about 30 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The
Gladiator returned to Neah Bay around 11 p.m.
The Gladiator was dispatched at about noon on Saturday, March 3, 2007, to escort
the Khorol to Port Angeles, Washington, from about 30 miles northwest of Cape
Flattery. The Gladiator met the Khorol at 3:10 p.m. and began its escort into
the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Khorol lost propulsion again at 1:10 a.m. on March 4 in a position about
four miles northwest of Port Angeles. The Gladiator passed a tow line to the
ship at 1:30 a.m., and towed it to an anchorage in Port Angeles at 3:30 a.m. The
Gladiator was relieved of duty by another tug at 8:05 p.m. and returned to its Neah Bay base at 12:10 a.m. on March 5.
F/V Grand Pacific: Loss of Propulsion** December 31, 2006
On Sunday, December 31, 2006, the 58-year old, 42-foot (13-meter) fishing vessel
Grand Pacific with two persons on board was about 25 miles west-southwest of
Cape Flattery, Washington when it lost propulsion and began drifting. The vessel
called the U.S. Coast Guard for assistance. The Coast Guard in Port Angeles
broadcast a request for assistance to vessels in the vicinity.
The tug Gladiator was near Neah Bay, Washington en route to relieve the
Foss there as the state funded rescue tug. The Gladiator received the radio
broadcast, contacted their managers at Crowley Marine Services, and responded to
the Coast Guard request. Ecology released the Gladiator from its contract with
Washington State and the tug was underway for the Grand Pacific’s position by
The Gladiator intercepted the Grand Pacific at 2:10 a.m. on Monday, January 1,
2007 after a 32 mile transit. The crew of the Grand Pacific rigged a towing
bridle to which the Gladiator connected the tow line and began towing, using one
engine to avoid damaging the fishing vessel. At 7:30 a.m., in worsening weather
with increasing southerly winds and seas, the towing bridle broke. At 8:30 a.m.
as the vessels neared the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca the tow line
was reconnected to the Grand Pacific. The Gladiator towed the
Grand Pacific to
the Neah Bay harbor entrance without further incident. At about 1:45 p.m. a
Coast Guard vessel took over the tow and brought the Grand Pacific into its
berth at the marina. The Captain of the Gladiator related that both the crew of
the Grand Pacific and the Coast Guard were grateful for their "response and
M/V Red Iris Inoperative Emergency Generator & Gyrocompass January 27, 2006
On Wednesday, January 25, 2006, the 2003-built, 738-foot (225-meter) bulk
carrier Red Iris was inbound for Seattle, Washington west of Cape Flattery,
Washington. The ship reported to the U.S. Coast Guard that their emergency
generator was unavailable due to a problem with the generator’s starting
batteries. The ship had previously reported that their gyrocompass was
On Thursday, January 26, the Coast Guard required the Red Iris obtain the
services of an escort tug from Buoy “J,” at the west entrance to the Strait of
Juan de Fuca, to an anchorage at Port Angeles, Washington. As no other tugs were
available for the escort job, the department of Ecology released the state
funded rescue tug at Neah Bay, Washington, Lauren Foss, from its contract so
that it could go on hire for the operator of the ship.
At about 7:30 a.m. on Friday, January 27, 2006, the Lauren Foss got underway
from Neah Bay to meet the Red Iris in the vicinity of Buoy “J”. The escort began
at about 9 a.m. and continued until 10:45 a.m. when the Foss Maritime tug,
Barbara Foss, took over the escort in the vicinity of Clallam Bay, Washington.
The Red Iris, under escort by the Barbara Foss anchored at Port Angeles without
incident. The Lauren Foss returned to its station at Neah Bay at about 11:45
M/V Cosco Melbourne Loss of Propulsion December 29, 2005
On Thursday, December 29, 2005, the 2005-built, 727-foot (222-meter) container
ship Cosco Melbourne was inbound for Seattle, Washington about 68 miles west
southwest of Cape Flattery, Washington. The ship suffered a loss of propulsion
as the result of a problem with the ship’s main electrical switchboard. The ship
drifted north at 2.5 knots. Tofino Vessel Traffic Service notified the U.S.
Coast Guard at 11:16 p.m. Winds at the time were south-southeast at 40 to 50
knots with 13- to 20-foot seas.
At 12:15 a.m. on December 30, at the request of the ship's operator, the
State-funded rescue tug stationed at Neah Bay, Washington, Lauren Foss, got
underway to standby and/or assist. At about 4:30 a.m., with the Lauren Foss
still en route to the Cosco Melbourne, the ship’s crew restarted the main engine
and the ship got underway for the west entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The U.S. Coast Guard issued an order requiring the Cosco Melbourne to secure the
services of an escort tug for the remainder of its voyage. The Lauren Foss was
retained to provide that service. The tug began escorting the ship at 8 a.m.
near Buoy “J”, and was relieved at Port Angeles, Washington at 1:35 p.m. The tug
Pacific Explorer was retained for escort services for the remainder of the
ship’s transit to Seattle, Washington. The Lauren Foss returned to its station
at Neah Bay at 8:30 p.m.
M/V Port Botany Loss of Propulsion December 11, 2005
On Sunday, December 11, 2005, at about 12:30 p.m. (local time) the four year
old, 554-foot (169-meter) bulk carrier Port Botany noted an abnormal knocking in
the ship’s main engine. The ship was off the north seacoast of Washington,
having left Puget Sound via the Strait of Juan de Fuca in route to Kelso,
Washington. Investigation by the ship’s engineering crew indicated an exhaust
valve on the No. 1 main engine cylinder as the source of the problem. The Port
Botany’s main engine was shut down at 2 p.m. to allow the engineering crew to
make repairs. The ship began to drift. The engineering crew began replacing a
damaged exhaust valve gear piston ring and several o-rings.
At 4:45 p.m. the US Coast Guard contacted Ecology, and relayed information that
the Port Botany was adrift about 21 miles west of Cape Alava, Washington. The
ship was reported drifting south-southeast at about 1.3 knots. At 4:55 p.m. the
State-funded rescue tug, Lauren Foss, stationed at Neah Bay, Washington was
dispatched by Foss Maritime at the request of the Coast Guard to stand-by the
drifting ship and assist if necessary. The weather observed by the crew of the
Lauren Foss was light westerly winds with an eight-foot westerly swell.
Repairs were completed aboard the Port Botany, and the ship got underway under
its own power at 6 p.m. The Lauren Foss, underway for about an hour and in the
vicinity of Cape Flattery, Washington, turned back to Neah Bay, arriving there
at 7:10 p.m. The Port Botany continued to the Columbia River without further
incident and was boarded by Ecology inspectors at Kelso, Washington.
Tug Phyllis Dunlap/Barge Hawaii Trader Broken Tow Wire February 2, 2005
On Wednesday, February 2, 2005, at about 11:10 a.m. (local time) Tofino Vessel
Traffic was notified by the tug Phyllis Dunlap that the tow wire to its barge,
Hawaii Trader, had parted about 3 miles northwest of Cape Flattery, Washington.
The wind on-scene was reported as south at 10 knots with a southwesterly swell
of 8 to 12 feet. Visibility was reported to be good.
During the period from about 12:10 p.m. to about 12:30 p.m. positional
information for the tug appears to indicate a drift southeast towards Duntze
Rock by the barge. The Lauren Foss was released by Ecology and got underway at
about 12:45 p.m. to rendezvous with the Phyllis Dunlap.
After several attempts, the Phyllis Dunlap was successful in reconnecting to the
tow wire of the barge as the Lauren Foss arrived on scene at 1:25 p.m.. The
Phyllis Dunlap began towing the Hawaii Trader to Port Angeles under an order
from the USCG Captain of the Port to have an escort from the Lauren Foss. The
Lauren Foss accompanied the tug and tow to Port Angeles, arriving there at 11:30
p.m. After assisting the Phyllis Dunlap in remaking its connection to the barge
at Port Angeles, the Lauren Foss was released to return to Neah Bay at 4:20 a.m.
(Thursday, February 3, 2005). The Lauren Foss returned to Neah Bay by 9:20 a.m.
M/V Thrasyvoulos V Hull Damage and Oil Spill November 11, 2004
On Thursday, November 11, 2004, at about 4:40 a.m. (local time) Ecology received
a report from Foss Maritime, that the 738-foot bulk carrier Thrasyvoulos V,
bound for Vancouver, B.C. from Korea, had reported an oil leak that caused a
sheen in the water and was at a position about 190 miles west of Cape Flattery,
Washington. The wave height was reported to be about 12 feet, and winds were
from the southeast. The rescue tug, Lauren Foss, stationed at Neah Bay,
Washington, was released by Ecology at the request of a ship’s representative
and got underway at 5:27 a.m., bound for Port Angeles, Washington to pick up a
damage control team that included divers.
Additional reports indicated that the No. 5 port fuel oil storage tank was holed
above the water. Fuel mixed with water was pumped from the holed tank into
another. At 10:54 a.m. the ship was reported underway eastbound at 13 knots in a
position about 168 miles west-by-north of Cape Flattery, Washington.
At 2 p.m., a Navy P-3 Orion airplane completed an over-flight of the
Thrasyvoulos V at the request of the US Coast Guard and reported that no oil was
visible on the water around the ship. The Lauren Foss was underway from Port
Angeles with the damage control team at 4:50 p.m. on November 11th, and reached
the ship by 4:07 a.m. on November 12th. The damage control team identified the
source of oil as a 3- by 1.5-inch puncture in the hull. The team constructed a
metal patch with a neoprene gasket and mechanically attached it using “J” bolts.
The Lauren Foss stayed on-scene with the Thrasyvoulos V until 9:10 a.m. on
November 12th, then got underway as an escort for the ship as far as Port
Angeles, Washington. The Lauren Foss departed Port Angeles for Neah Bay at 10:50
p.m., arriving there at 5:05 a.m. on November 13th.
M/V Kapitan Afanasyev Loss of Propulsion March 7, 2004
On Sunday, March 7, 2004, at about 7:37 p.m. (local time) the 607-foot container
ship Kapitan Afanasyev reported a loss of propulsion at a position in the
inbound vessel traffic lane approximately 1.2 miles south of Buoy ‘J’, west of
the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This position put the ship about 1.3
miles inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the northern edge of the
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, but outside the established
Area-To-Be-Avoided (ATBA). The report was made to the Cooperative Vessel Traffic
Service at Tofino, British Columbia. The Kapitan Afanasyev was in route to New
Westminster, B.C. from Portland, Oregon. Winds on-scene at the time were
reported as south southeast at about 12 miles per hour and there was a reported
westerly swell of about 10 to 18 feet. The initial reported drift of the ship
was northwest at 2 miles per hour.
At 7:40 p.m. the rescue tug, Barbara Foss, stationed at Neah Bay, Washington,
was alerted to stand by. At 10:10 p.m. Transport Canada requested that the
Kapitan Afanasyev be towed and/or escorted to Victoria, B.C. for inspection. The
ship anchored in about 108 feet of water on Swiftsure Bank in Canadian waters
(about 4 miles north northwest of Buoy ‘J’) at 11:15 p.m. The Barbara Foss was
underway by 11:50 p.m. After having reduced speed during the 21-mile transit due
to the high swell conditions, the Barbara Foss arrived on-scene at 2:31 a.m. on
March 8th. The ship reported its engine repairs were completed at 11:45 a.m.,
about 16 hours after reporting the problem, and got underway with the Barbara
Foss as an escort. The Barbara Foss escorted the ship until 12:30 p.m. when it
was relieved by the tug Lindsey Foss.
Tug Ernest Campbell/ T/B Dottie Broken Tow Wire October 11, 2003
On Saturday, October 11, 2003, at about 2 p.m. (local time) the tug Ernest
Campbell separated from the empty 271-foot double-hulled tank barge, Dottie, it
had been towing. The tug’s position at the time was reported as approximately 12
miles west southwest of Cape Flattery. This put the tug and barge within the
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, but outside the established
Area-To-Be-Avoided (ATBA). Winds on-scene at the time were reported as 23 to 46
miles per hour which, combined with 15- to 20-foot seas, pushed the drifting
Dottie north at a speed reported by Canada’s Tofino Vessel Traffic Center to be
4 to 5 miles per hour. Reports indicated that the attack submarine USS Topeka
had severed the tow line connecting the tug and barge. No injuries or oil spill
At 2:35 p.m. the U.S. Coast Guard Captain-of-the-Port directed that the rescue
tug, Barbara Foss, stationed at Neah Bay, Washington, be called out to assist.
The Barbara Foss was underway by 2:45 p.m. Meanwhile, the Ernest Campbell was
preparing to recover the Dottie. The Barbara Foss arrived on-scene at 4:30 p.m.
in a position about 8 miles north northeast of where the barge began its drift.
At 4:35 p.m., with the Barbara Foss standing by to assist in the waning
daylight, the Ernest Campbell began attempting to reconnect to the Dottie using
their emergency tow retrieval device (an Orville hook). The reconnection was
made at 4:50 p.m. and the Ernest Campbell began towing the barge to Port
Angeles, Washington. The Barbara Foss escorted the vessels to Port Angeles until
4 a.m. on October 12th, and then resumed its post at Neah Bay. The U.S. Navy and
U.S. Coast Guard are jointly investigating the circumstances of the incident.
On January 30, 2003, the 540-foot containership Buxsund was outbound for Hong
Kong via the Strait of Juan de Fuca. At 2:30 a.m., the ship’s main engine was
stopped to repair the cooling system following the failure of both main seawater
cooling pumps. The Buxsund notified the U.S. Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic
Service Puget Sound (VTSPS) of the problem. The ship was in Canadian waters in
the outbound traffic lane, approximately 10 miles east of the entrance to the
Strait of Juan de Fuca, about 5 to 6 miles south southeast of San Juan Point,
BC. Winds on scene were reported as southerly and light. The ship began a slow
VTSPS notified MSO Puget Sound and the rescue tug, Jeffrey Foss (standing in for
tug Barbara Foss at Neah Bay). The VTSPS attempted to notify the Buxsund that
they would need to order tug assistance if the vessel couldn’t maintain way, but
the Buxsund did not respond. At 2:50 a.m., VTSPS briefed the Canadian Coast
Guard’s Tofino Traffic about the incident. At 3:01 a.m., VTSPS re-established
communications with the Buxsund and advised the ship that they would have to
obtain tug assistance if they could not maintain steerageway. The ship responded
to VTSPS that a tug was not necessary due to minimal drift. At 3:15 a.m., the
MSO recommended that Transport Canada, Canada’s ship safety agency, order a tug
for the Buxsund, but they elected to allow the vessel to finish troubleshooting
At 7:20 a.m., with the ship now drifting northeasterly out of the traffic lane,
Transport Canada directed the ship via VTSPS to take a tug and proceed to Port
Angeles, Washington to effect repairs. The Jeffrey Foss, the nearest available
tug, was dispatched to escort/tow as needed and was underway at 7:46 a.m. The
Department of Ecology released the rescue tug to participate in the operation.
The Jeffrey Foss arrived alongside the ship, now underway on its own propulsion
after about 5 ½ hours of repairs, at 8:15 a.m. At 8:20 a.m., MSO issued a
Captain of the Port order requiring the ship have a tug escort in U.S. waters
and that it proceed to Port Angeles. The ship, under escort by the Jeffrey Foss,
anchored safely at 2:41 p.m. in Port Angeles for inspection by its
classification society, MSO and Ecology.
F/V Seafreeze Alaska Loss of Propulsion** January 19, 2003
On January 19, 2003 at 2:10 a.m., the U.S. Coast Guard's Vessel Traffic Service
(VTS) Puget Sound was informed by the 295-foot fish processing vessel F/V
Seafreeze Alaska that they had experienced a serious electrical problem, causing
its propulsion system to fail. The outbound vessel was dead in the water in the
Strait of Juan de Fuca south of Sooke Inlet, British Columbia at position
48-16-50N, 123-47-38W. There were no injuries on board. Winds on scene were
reported as WNW wind at 21 mph (18 knots). The predicted tidal current was
flooding to the east at about 1.7 mph (1.5 knots). The F/V Seafreeze Alaska
drifting at 118 degrees at 3 mph (2.6 knots). Based on the vessel’s direction of
drift, predicted currents and observations by VTS radar it was determined that
there was no immediate danger of grounding.
A check by VTS Puget Sound for tugs in the vicinity found a Crowley tug at Port
Angeles tasked with standby for a tanker, an Olympic tug at Port Angeles but
unavailable, the Garth Foss was near buoy "R" awaiting an inbound loaded tanker,
and the Alapul was near Partridge Bank with a loaded tank barge, leaving the
rescue tug Barbara Foss at Neah Bay as the nearest available tug. VTS Puget
Sound contacted the tug Barbara Foss shortly after receiving the call from the
ship. The Department of Ecology released the Barbara Foss from standby duty to
respond to the drifting ship.
The ship projected a potential landfall at Angeles Point, west of Port Angeles
in 4 to 4.5 hours at that rate and decided to drop a heavy steel fishing net
trawl “door” to the bottom on a long cable to slow their drift. The maneuver was
successful and changed the drift to a reported 0.2 mph (0.2 knots) at 160
degrees. The Barbara Foss arrived on scene at 5:40 a.m. The tug took the F/V
Seafreeze Alaska under tow at 5:55 a.m. using a towing bridle provided by the
Barbara Foss and proceeded toward Port Angeles at approximately 4.6 mph (4
knots), arriving off Ediz Hook at 9:40 a.m. The tug Western Ranger arrived at
10:35 a.m. to take over and towed the ship to Seattle for repairs. The Barbara
Foss returned to standby duty at Neah Bay, arriving at 2:25 p.m. Sunday
M/V Cristoforo Colombo Loss of Propulsion October 29, 2002
On October 29, 2002 the 677-foot container ship Cristoforo Colombo was inbound
to Vancouver, B.C. via the Strait of Juan de Fuca. At 9:30 p.m. the ship
reported via radio to Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service that the ship’s main
engine temperature was rising and that it would be shut down. The ship’s
position was reportedly about 2.5 miles north-northwest of Neah Bay in the
inbound vessel traffic lane. Winds were reported as easterly at 25-30 miles per
hour. The estimated time to effect repairs reported by the ship was 30 minutes.
The ship also reported they had anchors prepared for letting-go as a precaution.
At 10 p.m., the ship reported to VTS that the ship’s main engine was shut down
and they were showing lights for a vessel not able to maneuver. At 10:15 p.m.,
the USCG advised the ship to obtain tug services. At 10:19 p.m., with the ship
refusing to order tug services, the Neah Bay Rescue Tug, Barbara Foss, notified
VTS that they were exiting Neah Bay to shadow the Cristoforo Colombo. The
Barbara Foss departed from Neah Bay under its contract with the Department of
Ecology and arrived at the drifting vessel at 10:30 p.m.
At 10:39 p.m. the Cristoforo Colombo reported to VTS that the ship’s main engine
had been restarted and the ship was proceeding to Victoria Pilot Station. The
Barbara Foss stood by the ship until 11:00 p.m., then returned to station at Neah Bay at 11:30 p.m., without having had to provide assistance to the ship.
Tug Altair/ T/B Rigel Reduction in Propulsion** October 9, 2002
On October 9, 2002 the 98-foot tug Altair was towing the 316-foot,
double-hulled, tank barge Rigel from Puget Sound to Portland, Oregon. The tank
barge was loaded with about 80,000 barrels of diesel oil. A medical condition of
a crewmember caused the pair to turn back for the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Upon
entering the Strait, about 2 miles from Neah Bay, the twin-engine Altair
experienced an engine casualty, reducing the number of available main engines to
one. At 12:55 p.m. the Master of the Altair requested the assistance of the
Barbara Foss through Foss Maritime. Ecology released the Barbara Foss from its
contract as Neah Bay Rescue Tug to allow it to assist the Altair. The
Foss took the vessels under tow at 1:20 p.m. Weather conditions on-scene were
good with southwest winds of 5 to 10 knots and 4 to 6 foot swells. The three
vessels rendezvoused with another tug, Nakoa, at about 7 p.m. off Pillar Point
(west of Port Angeles, Washington). The Nakoa relieved the Barbara Foss,
allowing it to return to standby duty in Neah Bay by 9:20 p.m. The Nakoa, with
the Rigel in tow, set course for Portland. The Altair effected repairs and
transited to Bellingham, Washington.
M/V Red Cedar Reduction in Propulsion February 5, 2002
On February 5, 2002 at about 6:30 a.m., the Maltese-flagged, 1998-built, bulk
carrier, Red Cedar, which had been outbound in 47 to 54 m.p.h. winds, reported a
propulsion problem when it was about 10 miles southwest of Buoy “J,” near 48
23.2’ N, 124 58.0’ W. The ship was laden with a cargo of grain outbound from
Tacoma, Washington. The ship requested that it be allowed to anchor off the
coast (at Swiftsure Bank) for about 3 hours to make repairs, but was advised by
Canada’s Tofino Vessel Traffic Service to return to Victoria for repairs due to
weather concerns. The U.S. Coast Guard required a tug escort. The state-funded
rescue tug at Neah Bay, Barbara Foss, was the only tug available in the area.
The Department of Ecology released the Barbara Foss to respond to the ship under
a commercial contract. The Barbara Foss was notified at 7:27 a.m. and departed Neah Bay at 7:45 a.m. Winds reported at the time by the
Barbara Foss were
southeast at 30 knots with a 4-foot wind wave and a 5-foot swell from the west.
The ship’s log book indicated that at 8 a.m. the ship was rolling and pitching
heavily in high seas and heavy swells, and taking seas over the bow to about
amidships. The Barbara Foss ran approximately 4 miles to intercept the ship,
still capable of making 13 knots, at 8:15 a.m. just north of Neah Bay. The
escort duty for the Barbara Foss continued until 11:25 a.m. when another tug,
Hunter, was able to arrive and assume the escort to anchorage in Port Angeles
harbor. Investigation of the nature of the propulsion problem by an Ecology
vessel inspector indicated that a cooling water leak into one of five main
engine cylinders was the source of the problem aboard the Red Cedar.
Tug Pacific Avenger/ T/B 103 Loss of Steering January 3, 2002
On January 3, 2002 the tug Pacific Avenger lost its power steering about 15
miles west of Cape Flattery. At that time, the Pacific Avenger was towing a
430-foot barge, Barge 103, to Portland from Puget Sound. The barge was loaded
with about 2,100,000 gallons of diesel. It was estimated to be about 40 percent
full. The tug/barge experienced winds from the south at 18-23 mph and 12 foot
swells. Initially, the tug rudder went “hard over” and tripped off all power to
the steering system. A backup hand-operated hydraulic pump allowed limited
rudder control. The crew partially restored operation of the power hydraulic
steering system, but was not able to reference the rudder angle indicator or use
the autopilot. As a precautionary measure, they requested an escort tug and
turned back toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca to complete steering system
repairs and testing. The tug and tow were escorted by the Barbara Foss to Port
Angeles. The tug was inspected when it returned to port. The company discovered
that one of the tug's two rudders was missing.
F/V Deep Pacific Loss of Propulsion December 13, 2001
On December 13, 2001 the 112-foot commercial fishing vessel
Deep Pacific lost
electrical power during a major storm due to contaminated fuel. The contaminated
fuel also put the ship's propulsion at risk. Winds on scene were westerly at
57-63 mph with 16-20-foot seas. At the time the crew requested assistance from
the Barbara Foss, the ship was 31 miles west-northwest of Cape Flattery. The
crew managed to maintain propulsion and the Barbara Foss escorted the boat to
M/V Andino Loss of Propulsion December 9, 2001
On December 9, 2001 the 580-foot container ship Andino had an engine failure. It
drifted for five hours well inside the Strait of Juan de Fuca, presenting a
potential collision risk to other vessels using the shipping lanes. The captain
of the Andino initially refused the Coast Guard's verbal order to take a towline
from the Barbara Foss. The ship continued to drift while the crew attempted to
repair the engine. The Andino's captain finally accepted a towline from the
Barbara Foss. Eventually another tug, the Lindsey Foss, arrived to relieve the
Barbara Foss, and the ship was towed to Port Angeles.
M/V BBC Peru Loss of Propulsion November 30, 2001
On November 30, 2001 the container ship BBC Peru had a main engine failure and
drifted for over two hours 12 miles west of the entrance to the Strait of Juan
de Fuca. The Coast Guard's Captain of the Port of Puget Sound required the
vessel to have a tug stand-by while the engine was worked on. The rescue tug
Barbara Foss was the nearest tug capable of providing immediate assistance. The
vessel's crew could not restore full power and the Barbara Foss escorted the
vessel to Port Angeles at reduced speed. The weather forecast at the time of the
incident was for winds to 46 mph with swells to 15 feet.
T/S Antigun Pass Broken Tow Wire** November 19, 2001
On November 19, 2001 the decommissioned tanker Atigun Pass broke its towline and
drifted for three and a half days off Washington’s coast while a major storm
swept through the area. This potential environmental calamity was averted
through five days of concerted effort by the Coast Guard, the tanker’s shipping
agent, and the Department of Ecology before the towline could be re-secured and
the tanker and its original tug, the De Da, could proceed on their voyage. The
Barbara Foss was the first tug on-scene and its maneuverability, specialized
equipment, and highly trained crew played a critical role in the tanker’s
M/V Tetien Trader Electrical Distribution Radars Outage October 24, 2001
On October 24, 2001 the 700-foot Greek bulk freight ship Tetien Trader ran into
a storm 500 miles off the Strait of Juan de Fuca and was damaged, forcing it to
return to port for repairs. A large wave over the stern flooded a switchboard,
shorting out the electrical service to both of the ship's radar systems. The
Coast Guard directed the ship, which was loaded with thousands of barrels of
bunker fuel, to arrange for a tug escort as it transited the Strait of Juan de
Fuca to Victoria, BC. Foss Maritime Co. was contracted to provide the tug
escort. Foss found it difficult to get a regular escort tug to the entrance of
the Strait in time to meet the ship so arrangements were made for the rescue tug
Barbara Foss to perform the first portion of the escort before passing off to
the tug Arthur Foss. The ship's arrival time was delayed, allowing the
Foss to go all the way to the Strait entrance and perform the full escort. The
Barbara Foss was first on scene near buoy "J" and provided assistance with
communications as the ship entered the Strait.
T/S British Hawk Reduction in Propulsion September 25, 2001
On September 25, 2001, the tanker
British Hawk could not apply power in reverse
after leaving Rosario Strait in the San Juan Islands. The Coast Guard Captain of
the Port required a tug escort as far as Port Angeles. Ecology dispatched the
Barbara Foss from Neah Bay as a precautionary measure while the vessel passed
out of state waters into the Pacific Ocean.
On April 30, 2001, a faulty fuel valve on the main engine partially disabled the
600-foot Norwegian chemical tanker Jo Brevik as it was outbound in the Strait of
Juan de Fuca. The ship carried a bulk cargo of highly corrosive liquid caustic
soda, and had a capacity of 33,500 tons. The Coast Guard directed the ship to
proceed at least fifteen miles west of the entrance before shutting the engine
down for repairs and to have the Barbara Foss stand by during the down time.
Winds were SW 25-31 mph with a six-foot swell.
Tug Caribe Challenger/ T/B 340 Reduction in Propulsion April 29, 2001
On April 29, 2001, the American tugboat Caribe Challenger, which was towing a
330-foot tank barge loaded with 2 million gallons of gasoline, had to shut down
a main engine due to a coolant leak. The Caribe Challenger and its barge were
about 45 miles SSW of Cape Flattery. There was wind from WNW at more than 20 mph
and a WNW swell of ten feet. The Barbara Foss was dispatched to escort the tug
as it slowly proceeded up the coast on one engine and entered the Strait of Juan
de Fuca. Another tug from Port Angeles met the two tugs near the entrance and
took over escort duties as the Caribe Challenger and the barge proceeded to
M/V Mediteran Frigo Failure to Have Appropriate Nautical Charts October 27, 2000
On October 27, 2000, the refrigerated cargo ship, Mediteran Frigo, reported on
their arrival notice that they were approaching the Strait of Juan de Fuca,
bound for Seattle, without nautical charts of the area. In response, the U.S.
Coast Guard issued an order requiring the ship to: (a) obtain the necessary
charts before passing Buoy "J" (at the entrance to the Strait) or, (b) get a tug
escort from Buoy "J" to the pilot station at Port Angeles and then take on
nautical charts. The Barbara Foss was called early on October 28 to deliver
nautical charts to the ship before it arrived at Buoy "J" so that the ship could
transit the Strait and Puget Sound safely and in compliance with international
regulations. The Barbara Foss then escorted the ship to a point five miles east
of Buoy "J" to further ensure safety. (Lack of charts is not an isolated
occurrence. In 1999 alone, Ecology cited two tankers for coming to Puget Sound
ports without adequate charts.)
M/V Daewoo Spirit Intermittent Steering Failure October 26, 2000
On October 26, 2000, the Barbara Foss assisted the 941-foot bulk carrier
Spirit, which was having intermittent steering losses near the western entrance
to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Daewoo Spirit had a fuel oil capacity of
about 1.2 million gallons. The U.S. Coast Guard could not determine the cause of
the steering loss due to the crew’s limited English-language ability. The Coast
Guard required the ship’s Master to undertake a tug escort, supplied by the
Barbara Foss, to anchorage at Constance Bank, British Columbia.
M/V Ever Given Loss of Propulsion October 16, 2000
On October 16, 2000, the rescue tug Barbara Foss assisted a drifting vessel, the
885-foot container ship Ever Given. The ship had shut down its main engines
about six miles off the Washington Coast, 26 miles south of the western entrance
to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Ever Given, with a fuel oil capacity of about
1.4 million gallons, was drifting while repairing its fuel heating system. The
U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port issued an order to the Captain of the Ever
Given requiring a tug escort to Port Angeles, Washington. The Barbara Foss
escorted the ship safely to anchor at Port Angeles.
On June 6, 2000, a large bulk-cargo ship, the Virtue, bound for Vancouver,
British Columbia, lost propulsion approximately 30 miles west of Cape Flattery
and started to drift to the north. The U.S. Coast Guard directed the master of
the Virtue to arrange for tug assistance due to repeated propulsion failures on
the ship. The Virtue’s master contracted with the rescue tug Barbara Foss. The
Barbara Foss escorted the ship into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and towed the
ship to Esquimalt, British Columbia for inspection by Transport Canada Marine
Safety officials. The complete response took over 29 hours. The Virtue had a
fuel oil capacity of about 468,000 gallons.
F/V Sharlene K Loss of Propulsion** May 8, 2000
On May 8, 2000, the rescue tug Barbara Foss towed the Canadian fishing vessel,
Sharlene K, to safety in Neah Bay after the vessel ran out of fuel near the
entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Wind, wave and swell were from the west,
which would have pushed the Sharlene K towards the coast of Vancouver Island.
The Barbara Foss reached the vessel 50 minutes after getting underway. Although
it was out of fuel, the Sharlene K had lube and hydraulic oils aboard that could
have spilled had the vessel grounded.
M/V Clipper Arita Loss of Propulsion February 22, 2000
On February 22, 2000, a large dry-cargo ship, the Clipper Arita, lost propulsion
approximately 10 miles west of Cape Flattery and started to drift northeast
toward shore. The rescue tug Barbara Foss was underway in 11 minutes and was
able to make over 11 mph in 12 to17 foot seas proceeding toward the disabled
vessel. The vessel crew repaired their propulsion system just as the Barbara
Foss arrived on scene, 80 minutes after getting underway. The Clipper Arita had a
fuel oil capacity of about 235,000 gallons.
F/V Aleutian Challenger Loss of Propulsion April 5, 1999
On April 5, 1999, the 78-foot fishing vessel Aleutian Challenger ran out of fuel
3.6 miles northwest of Tatoosh Island. The rescue tug, Sea Valiant, responded,
but the Captain of the Aleutian Challenger refused the tug’s assistance because
a commercial agreement for towing services could not be reached. This was partly
due to the fishing vessel’s distant, potential destination, and the associated
high cost of contracting with the tug for a long tow. When the fishing vessel
later drifted near the shipping lanes a U.S. Coast Guard boat stationed at Neah
Bay towed it into that harbor. While the Aleutian Challenger drifted, the
Valiant stood by ready to assist, and eventually escorted the U.S. Coast Guard
boat, with the Aleutian Challenger in tow, to the entrance to Neah Bay.
T/B Bouchard Barge No. 230 Broken Tow Wire ** March 28, 1999
On March 28, 1999, the tug Ralph E. Bouchard lost its tow to the tank barge
Bouchard No. 230 when the towline parted during a storm. The barge was not
carrying an oil cargo, but was carrying diesel for its generators. The position
was about 17.5 miles off the coast, west of La Push, Washington. Two men were on
the drifting barge, which was taking water over its deck. Despite attempts by
the tug to reconnect the towline, the barge drifted northeast about 19 miles at
more than 2 mph through the evening of March 28 and early morning of March 29.
By then the drifting barge was about 13.5 miles west of Cape Alava, Washington.
The rescue tug, Sea Valiant, was dispatched the evening of March 28 and arrived
on-scene early March 29, standing by to assist. The Ralph E. Bouchard was
finally able to retrieve the barge the morning of March 29 and made its way to
Port Angeles, Washington under escort by the Sea Valiant. The Sea Valiant later
assisted the Ralph E. Bouchard in retrieving the broken end of the tow wire
still attached to the barge. Following the incident the Captain of the Ralph E.
Bouchard spoke very supportively of the rescue tug. He told an Ecology
investigator that it provided a comfort factor during the hazardous conditions
in which his people had been working.