Coast Guardsmen aboard the cutter Liberty, recently re-homeported from Juneau to Valdez, take the vessel Nine Lives under tow after fuel contamination rendered its engine nonfunctional on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (Courtesy photo / U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guardsmen aboard the cutter Liberty, recently re-homeported from Juneau to Valdez, take the vessel Nine Lives under tow after fuel contamination rendered its engine nonfunctional on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (Courtesy photo / U.S. Coast Guard)

Ex-Juneau cutter Liberty helps tow boat to safe harbor

Bad fuel rendered the engine nonfunctional 80 nautical miles west of Yakutat.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, recently re-homeported from Juneau to Valdez after more than three decades in the capital city, helped tow a stricken vessel near Yakutat to safety.

Tuesday, the crew of the vessel Nine Lives reported contaminated fuel disabled the vessel, which was 80 nautical miles west of Yakutat when they contacted the Coast Guard.

“Thankfully, the disabled vessel was well prepared and had all the required safety equipment and alternate means of communication to relay their situation and location,” said the Liberty’s commanding officer, Lt. Dylan Wright. “This case shows the importance of always being prepared for the unexpected, especially when operating in remote regions of Alaska.”

Three people were aboard the 41-foot vessel at the time of the incident, according to the Coast Guard. The Liberty took the vessel in tow to safety.

Coast Guard Lt. Zachary Farrell is shown flying an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter during the medical evacuation of a mariner near Cold Bay, Alaska, on June 14, 2022. (Lt. Cmdr. Scott Filipowicz / U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard Lt. Zachary Farrell is shown flying an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter during the medical evacuation of a mariner near Cold Bay, Alaska, on June 14, 2022. (Lt. Cmdr. Scott Filipowicz / U.S. Coast Guard)

Elsewhere in Alaska

The Coast Guard had a busy week with multiple distress and medevac calls at sea.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk and its aircrew perform a medevac from a fishing vessel near Cold Bay on Tuesday. Cold Bay, located in the Aleutians East Borough, is located between Sand Point and Unalaska.

District 17 watchstanders received a request for assistance from the vessel Golden Alaska after a 57-year-old man lost consciousness and was reported to be in an altered mental state, according to the Coast Guard. CGAS Kodiak sortied an MH-60, and the aircrew medevaced him to Anchorage.

The Coastal Explorer caught fire at sea, leading the crew to abandon near Kodiak on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Courtesy photo / U.S. Coast Guard)

The Coastal Explorer caught fire at sea, leading the crew to abandon near Kodiak on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Courtesy photo / U.S. Coast Guard)

On Thursday morning, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a distress broadcast from the mariners of the 67-foot vessel Coastal Explorer that their engine was afire and they were abandoning to their skiff.

A CGAS Kodiak MH-60 and aircrew arrived on scene and escorted the mariners back to Kodiak harbor.

“By providing an MH-60 helicopter escort, we helped ensure the mariner’s safety,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Dante Corradi, Sector Anchorage Communications Unit, in the news release. “We were able to facilitate reliable communications with the couple aboard their skiff during their transit back into Kodiak.”

The Coast Guard issued a public advisory that the vessel is unmanned and adrift as the owners work to establish a salvage plan.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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