Saturday, December 4, 2010

Responders prepare to tow hobbled cargo ship

This just in from the U.S. Coast Guard:

Dec. 4, 2010

Golden Seas, Tor Viking II expected to rendezvous today

ANCHORAGE — The Tor Viking II is about 50 miles from the motor vessel Golden Seas and is expected to rendezvous about 40 miles north of Atka Island around 6 p.m. and establish a tow.

The Golden Seas crew reported Friday severe weather had diminished allowing the vessel to utilize limited engine capability to maneuver northeast away from land.

Crews on the Tor Viking II, an oceangoing tug, will be using the emergency towing system (ETS), specifically designed to deploy to a disabled ship from the stern of a tugboat or airdropped to the ship's deck via helicopter. The Tor Viking II is scheduled to tow the vessel to Dutch Harbor.

Weather on scene has diminished to about 40 mph winds and 20-foot seas and is predicted to continue to weaken during the next 24 to 48 hours.

Coast Guard rescue helicopter crews remain in Dutch Harbor in case assistance is needed. An extra ETS is also available in Adak that can be delivered by helicopter. The Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley is still en route.

The 738-foot Golden Seas is carrying rapeseed used to make canola oil, 450,000 gallons of crude oil, 11,700 gallons of diesel fuel and 10,000 gallons of lube oil.

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