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February 2011 Archives

Alaska Fishing Boats KODIAK ENTERPRISE and ALASKA SPIRIT Collide in Dutch Harbor

The ALASKA SPIRIT and KODIAK ENTERPRISE have collided in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The ALASKA SPIRIT had just finished offloading their catch to a tramper and was departing when it collided with the KODIAK ENTERPRISE, which was headed out to the fishing grounds. Early reports indicate that confused communications between the two vessels was a cause of the collision. Both vessels suffered structural damage in the accident and will need repairs. The ALASKA SPIRIT suffered damage to the bow, and the KODIAK ENTERPRISE suffered damage to its starboard transom and gantry. The 221-foot ALASKA SPIRIT is owned by Fishing Company of Alaska, and the 262-foot KODIAK ENTERPRISE is owned by Trident Seafoods. The accident is under investigation by the Coast Guard. No injuries were reported from the accident.


The 68 foot Alaska fishing vessel MIDNITE SUN went aground 36 miles Northwest of Kodiak near Tanaak Cape on February 11, 2011. The vessel was reportedly fighting 18-20 foot waves and winds of 50 knots when it issued a Mayday call over channel 16. The Mayday call was relayed to the Coast Guard by the Fishing vessel SEA WARRIOR shortly after midnight. The relayed Mayday message was critical to the rescue operation which recovered five crewmen from the vessel before it went on the rocks. Having been alerted by the SEA WARRIOR that the MIDNITE SUN was in trouble, a Kodiak based Coast Guard rescue helicopter was able to reach the crew within an hour. It is unknown at this time what caused the MIDNITE SUN to become distressed. The vessel was reportedly carrying 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Investigation into the casualty, salvage of the vessel, and containment of any environmental damage are all underway.


Five crewmen from the 80 foot fishing vessel VICIOUS FISHER, have been rescued from the sinking boat by the United States Coast Guard.  The VICIOUS FISHER issued a May Day on Thursday, February 3, 2011 indicating the vessel was in danger of sinking.  The Coast Guard dispateched motor life boats and helicopters to aid the stricken vessel, however, attempts to dewater the vessel failed and the crew abandoned ship and was rescued by motor life boat crews. Weather conditions at the scene of the accident were reported to be eight foot seas with 10-15 mile per hour winds. The cause of the accident is under investigation.  This is another close call for Pacific Northwest fishermen; it is widely recognized that working as a fisherman in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon is one of the most deadly jobs in the world.  It is imperative that crew regularly train in abandon ship procedures and that vessel equipment be kept in a seaworthy condition.

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