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F/V PACIFIC PRODUCER Hard Aground on a Kodiak Island Beach

No one was injured in the grounding, and no fuel has been spilled, but 169-foot fish processing vessel PACIFIC PRODUCER lies hard aground on the Kodiak side of Ouzinkie Narrows, which passes between Kodiak and Spruce Islands. She grounded there on March 15, only a couple of hours after having left the city of Kodiak, after lying in port for months. Seas at the time of the grounding were reported as fairly calm with a nine-foot tide. Current photos of the vessel show blue sky and very calm water. Despite decent weather conditions and lightening her load, it seems PACIFIC PRODUCER will remain aground until next week when it's hoped that she can be refloated in higher tides. There is a ten-inch crack in the hull wall of a water tank, but because it is a water tank area designed to hold water, it seems to pose no threat to refloating. The owner, Chris Tsabouris of East West Seafood in Seattle, is said to be working with a salvage company.

A spokesman for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is quoted as saying, "It hit the beach fairly hard." It does look like it must have run up with some force, judging from photos showing how far up the beach the bow has gone. The Coast Guard and others are monitoring the vessel and surrounding areas for pollution. PACIFIC PRODUCER has 10,000 pounds of fuel on board, assorted lubes and oils, 6,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia for refrigeration, and between 10-15,000 pounds of frozen bait. Fortunately, the generators have been working.

PACIFIC PRODUCER has had her share of problems these past few months. Earlier this year, two crewmembers living aboard while moored at a Kodiak pier reported an ammonia leak. At that time, she had been lying in port for two months already while her owner was away seeking financing. Not long after that, there was a 150-gallon diesel spill and still later, in nearby St. Herman Harbor, a second ammonia leak was reported. It seems that the trip out of Kodiak complete with crew, supplies, and bait was her first work trip in a long time.

Right now, no one knows how PACIFIC PRODUCER ran aground like this. Of course, the Coast Guard is conducting an investigation.

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