Division of Spill Prevention and Response



December 14, 2010

Update for December 14
The Golden Seas departed Unalaska Bay at 9:45 AM on December 13, bound for the United Arab Emirates (its original destination).

Repairs to the vessel’s turbocharger were completed on December 12 and approved by the Coast Guard.  Sea trials were conducted on December 13 and the Golden Seas subsequently departed Dutch Harbor at 9:45 AM that morning.

The ADEC emergency towing package used during this incident is being cleaned and inspected by a contractor in Dutch Harbor.  Based on results of the inspection, components will be replaced or retained, and the package will be re-staged at Dutch Harbor for future use.  The additional emergency towing system deployed to Adak has been returned to Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak.

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December 8, 2010

Update for December 8, 1:00 pm
The tow mission was completed and the towline disconnected at 1:40 PM on December 7. The Golden Seas remains anchored in Broad Bay. The tug Gyrfalcon is standing by to assist while the vessel is at anchor.

The turbocharger parts for the Golden Seas are expected to arrive in Dutch Harbor later this week. The USCG will monitor and approve the repairs to the vessel.

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December 7, 2010

Update for December 7, 8:00am
The M/V Golden Seas remains under tow by the tug Tor Viking II.  The vessels have completed passage through Unimak Pass and are now approaching Dutch Harbor with an ETA of 10:00 AM this morning. 

The proposed anchoring location at Dutch Harbor is Broad Bay (one of the pre-identified places of refuge in the Aleutians Subarea Contingency Plan for Oil and Hazardous Substance Discharges/Releases).
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December 5, 2010

Update for December 5, 1:00pm
Shortly after 8:00 PM on December 4, the crew of the tug Tor Viking II successfully deployed the State of Alaska Emergency Towing System (ETS) and attached the towline to the Golden Seas.  The Unified Command (UC) noted the skill of the Tor Viking II crew in successfully deploying the ETS under conditions of darkness and extreme seas and weather conditions. 
The Golden Seas is under tow from the Tor Viking II and steaming toward Dutch Harbor at 7 to 9 knots, the speed fluctuating with sea conditions.  Due to the continuing storm in the Bering Sea, the UC chose a southern route along the Aleutian chain for the vessels, placing them in the lee of the islands.  The vessels are expected to arrive in Dutch Harbor on Tuesday, December 7.  

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December 4, 2010

Update for December 4, 7:00pm
Unified Command (UC) consulted with marine pilots and local officials in Adak and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor and determined that of the two locations, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor offered the most favorable sites for anchoring the Golden Seas for repairs.  As part of the process for selecting a place of refuge for the vessel, the UC also consulted with local tribes and Native corporations, potentially affected landowners, and federal and State resource trustees.

The tug Tor Viking II rendezvoused with the Golden Seas at approximately 5:30 PM, December4.  Attempts to put in place the emergency towing system have begun.  In the tow configuration, the vessels are estimated to be capable of making a speed of 5 to 8 knots and are expected to arrive at Unalaska Bay on the evening of Monday, December 6.

The USCG cutter Alex Haley is estimated to meet up with the Golden Seas and the Tor Viking II at early morning on December 5.

Update for December 4, 12:30pm
Initially, the vessel drifted with wind and seas toward the northwest shore of Atka Island, but as weather abated around 4:00 PM on December 3, the vessel was able to begin moving slowly to the northeast.  It is no longer on a shoreward trajectory, but remains at risk of going adrift again due to weather or additional loss of power.

The ocean-going tug Tor Viking II departed Dutch Harbor at approximately 5:00 PM, December 3, to rendezvous with the Golden Seas.  The plan is for the Tor Viking to tie into the Golden Seas with a 10-inch-diameter line (part of the Aleutian Islands Emergency Towing System) and tow it to a place of refuge on Unalaska Island.  The estimated rendezvous time is 6:30 PM today, December 4.

The USCG cutter Alex Haley, which also has towing capability, is en route to the Golden Seas from the eastern Aleutians.  Two USCG HH60 helicopters landed at Dutch Harbor on December 3 to provide assistance, if needed.  The spill response vessel Nanuq remains on standby at Dutch Harbor.

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