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Vessel Runs Aground on Little South America

Jan 09, 2012 | Stephanie Joyce-Unalaska Community Broadcasting

Most of the onlookers were other crab fishermen, but one had been a sailor aboard the Baranof back in the 1970s, when it was a Coast Guard buoy tender.

He was happy to offer up his insights into the situation.

“The longer they wait, the fuel tanks are right down there and it’s starting to bump right there, so they’re going to have fuel…”
Fortunately, the vessel, which was carrying 23,000 gallons of fuel didn’t end up staying on the rocks for long.
Immediately after the Baranof ran aground the tug Saratoga tried re-floating it, but only succeeded in breaking several towlines. So then the much larger, 4,300 horsepower tug James Dunlap gave it a try.

In less than 30 seconds the boat was free and clear.

“Looks like he’s towing the tug now.” The 180-foot crab tender Baranof was switching docks to pick up crab pots Monday morning when it beached itself on the backside of Little South America.

It didn’t take long for a crowd to form, despite blizzard conditions and a travel advisory in effect for the area.

The Baranof’s mate Jim Ford says he’s hoping this doesn’t mean the end of the season for the vessel.

“[We'll] have the hull inspected and if the diver and the Coast Guard are satisfied that the hull is fine, we’re good to go.”
Coast Guard Lieutenant Derek Gibson says there doesn’t appear to be any structural damage to the vessel and there was no fuel discharge. But he added the Coast Guard will be doing an inspection as well as an investigation into why the boat ran aground.

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