(Response Count Since 1999: 46)
**Indicates deployments in which the tug connected a towline to the vessel in distress.
Seasons: 2009 -2010 | 2008-2009 | 2007-2008 | 2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005 | 2003-2004 | 2002-2003 | 2001-2002 | 2000-2001 | 1999-2000 | 1999
* First season for industry funded response tug.
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.
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.
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.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 4, the state-funded emergency tug, Hunter, 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.
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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.
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Papado II **
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.
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 9:38 a.m.
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.
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.
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 to respond.
The winds were easterly at 35 knots. There were eight- to ten-foot westerly swells.
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.
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 restored.
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.
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 waves.
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 storm.
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 Jeffrey 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.
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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.
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.
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 Meridian 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.
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 feet.
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.
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 Barbara 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 11:20 p.m.
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 success."
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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 inoperative.
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 a.m.
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.
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.
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Phyllis Dunlap/Hawaii Trader
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.
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.
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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.
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 were reported.
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.
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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 southeasterly drift.
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 the problem.
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.
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 was 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 afternoon.
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.
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 Barbara 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.
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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.
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.
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 Port Angeles.
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.
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.
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 ultimate rescue.
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 Arthur 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.
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.
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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.
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 Anacortes.
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.)
On October 26, 2000, the Barbara Foss assisted the 941-foot bulk carrier Daewoo 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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 Sea 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.
Bouchard Barge No. 230**
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.
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