Friday, October 25, 2013

Crowley Tug Performs Rescue in Bering Sea

The crew of the Crowley Maritime Corp. tug Siku, operating in Western Alaska, recently rescued six men adrift in the Bering Sea after their 21-foot, aluminum skiff ran out of gas in Hooper Bay and was being blown out of the bay and into the seas.

Responding to a request by the Coast Guard, the crew of Siku, which was in the area holding for weather, located the skiff, which was drifting about a mile offshore of Hooper Bay despite having its anchor out. Siku Capt. Angus Isaac instructed the skiff crew to pull up their anchor and ready themselves for a line from the tug. The captain then maneuvered the tug so that the skiff was in the lee to protect it and its passengers from the building wind and seas.

The crew then threw a heaving line to the skiff and pulled it alongside the tug allowing the passengers to disembark and board Siku. The tug crew then attached a line to the skiff and towed the stricken boat back into the sheltered waters of Hooper Bay where it was refueled and towed close to shore.

According to Crowley, the Siku completed the rescue in about five hours before returning to its barge, which throughout the rescue waited out the gale in protected waters. Once the storm passed, the tug-barge combo continued its business along the Yukon River.

“We are proud of the professionalism of Captain Isaac and his crew,” Crowley Marine Operations Director Greg Pavellas said. “Crowley has a longstanding relationship with the people of Alaska and we were happy to put our safety and rescue training to work in order to lend a hand to those men who were in dire need.”

Crowley’s tug Siku, which was designed for utilization with oil barges in the coastwise and river trades of Western Alaska, measures 85 feet long and is powered by two Caterpillar engines providing 1,248 horsepower and a total bollard pull of 25,000 pounds.