Bulk Carrier Rescued After Being Disabled & Adrift in Bering Sea

At 12:15 AM on December 3, crew onboard the M/V GOLDEN SEAS reported to the coast guard that the vessel was adrift, in 20 foot seas 50 miles north of Adak Island.

The crew reported that the turbocharger on the ship’s single propulsion engine had failed and without it the ship’s engine was unable to turn propeller with sufficient power to hold the vessel in place or make headway in the severe weather.

When the weather died down the bulk carrier was able to use what little power it had to steer away from land, moving at about 3 mph.

The 738-ft Liberian flagged Panamax bulk carrier has a crew of 20 and is carrying rapeseed (used to make canola oil) and an estimated 520,440 gallons of heavy fuel oil, 11,748 gallons of diesel fuel, and 10,000 gallons of lube oil onboard. The coast guard reports that no oil has leaked.

Rescue tug, TOR VIKING II arrived on scene Saturday evening where emergency tow systems (ETS) were put in place. ETS is specifically designed to deploy to a disabled ship from the stern of a tugboat or can be airdropped to the ship’s deck by helicopter. The bulk carrier, managed by Allseas Marine in Athens, is currently under tow and expected to arrive in Dutch Harbor early Tuesday after a route change to avoid rough seas and harsh weather.

The coast guard cutter ALEX HALEY will escort the two vessels to the Dutch Harbor. Two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Kodiak sit in Dutch Harbor ready to launch should they also be needed.

M/V Golden Seas was en route from Vancouver, British Columbia to the UAE when she lost power.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Coast Guard worked together to make the rescue possible and are continuing to work together to increase the number of tugs and helicopters available for emergency response in the remote area.


A unified command website has been established at http://www.dec.state.ak.us/spar/perp/response/sum_fy11/101203201/101203201_index.htm

For more information about the Tor Viking visit, www.vikingsupply.com

PHOTO 1: Incident Location, Potential Grounding, courtesy of USCG & AK department of Environmental Conservation Unified Command site.

PHOTO 2: he 738-foot tanker Golden Seas makes 3.5 mph through 20-foot seas 50 miles north of Adak Island Dec. 3, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

PHOTO 3: The crew of the tug Tor Viking II is observed by an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules crew moving at 12 mph through 20 foot seas and 46 mph winds 48 miles from the 738-foot cargo vessel Golden Seas in the Bering Sea Dec. 4, 2010. Photo courtesy of the USCG

ETS- The Emergency Towing System graphic is from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation ETS Procedures Manual & Appendix A – January 2009: V002