USCG Lifts 5 Crew from the Stricken vessel Polar Wind that Runs Aground near Cold Bay

By Accidents

The USCG saved 5 crew members from the tug ship Polar Wind that ran aground and started taking on water 20 n.m. east of Cold Bay at 8:58 p.m. on Tuesday.
A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, deployed on the board of the the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, that arrived on scene at 2:14 a.m. Wednesday, and safely hoisted 3 of the 5 crew members from the seventy-eight-foot ship and took them to Cold Bay. The Dolphin helicopter crew member left their Coast Guard saving swimmer with the remaining 2 crew members of the aground vessel and an Air Station HC-130 Hercules airplane stayed overhead to observe the situation. An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew member from Air Station Kodiak arrived on scene and hoisted the 2 remaining crew members and the rescue swimmer and transported them safely to Cold Bay.
The tug boat Polar Wind is informed to have nearly 18,500 gallons of fuel on board and the barge is informed for carrying nearly 5,000 gallons of fuel and 90 refrigerated cargo containers.
The USCG is still working with the Alaska Depart. of Environmental Conservation and the owner of the tug boat and barge, Northland Services, to respond to this situation. A unified command has been stood up to respond to the situation.
Northland Services company has hired Global Diving and Salvage company to make a plan to salvage the tug boat and barge, and Alaska Chadux to respond to any pollution problem.
A USCG Hercules airplane with a pollution responder on its board is planned to fly over the tug boat and barge Wednesday to assess the situation.
A USCG 17th District watch stander obtained information from the Coast Guard Communications Station in Kodiak that was reporting that the Polar Wind, with 5 crew members on the board of the tug boat, ran aground and was taking on water 20 n.m. east of Cold Bay at the opening of Pavlof Bay.
The cutter Sherman, that was conducting a Bering Sea patrol, launched their Dolphin helicopter crew and Air Station Kodiak launched the Jayhawk helicopter crew and the Hercules airplane crew to assist with the rescue operation.
The weather condition at the time of the grounding was 6 to 8-foot seas and 40 miles per hour winds.