Crewmembers aboard Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley maintain a towing line during an emergency towing system exercise with Seattle-based fishing vessel Sea Trader near Unalaska, Alaska, Sept. 9, 2014. The exercise was held by the City of Unalaska to develop emergency towing capabilities for disabled vessels in the Aleutian Subarea using locally available tugboats in conjunction with ETS equipment stationed in Unalaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould)
Coast Guardsmen from Kodiak participated in an emergency towing system drill in Dutch Harbor yesterday. The crew from the cutter Alex Haley and an Air Station Kodiak Dolphin helicopter crew assisted the city of Unalaska with the maritime emergency practice.
During the drill, the helicopter crew delivered the city’s emergency towing gear to a vessel which was then towed by the Alex Haley. The participating distressed vessel was then met by local tugs which took the vessel to an emergency buoy.
Alex Haley Commanding Officer Stephen White said drills such as yesterdays were important to gain familiarity with the emergency towing system equipment. Personnel with the Dutch Harbor Marine Safety Detachment also participated, as did Harley Marine, Dunlap Towing and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Alex Haley is a 282-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Kodiak.
It’s official: Delta Western fuel supply workers in Unalaska are unionized. The National Labor Relations Board certified the workers’ vote to join the Inland Boatmen’s Union last week, according to an IBU statement.
The workers had voted by an eight to 15 margin to join the union in early April. An NLRB representative oversaw the election.
The next step will be to negotiate a contract for the workers. The IBU will head up that process.
The road to unionizing began in February, when Delta Western workers walked off the job in
protest of alleged workplace mistreatment. They went on strike again in March and filed a federal complaint with the NLRB, saying their managers were using illegal methods to punish them for striking and to keep them from organizing.
The group petitioned to join the IBU soon after. They’re now the only unionized Delta Western terminal in Alaska.
Annie Ropeik, Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB
A member of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Unalaska has passed away in Anchorage.
Petty Officer Michal Marciniak died at Alaska Regional Hospital Tuesday morning while receiving treatment for a serious illness. Marciniak had fallen ill Monday morning and was medevacked to Cold Bay on a Coast Guard helicopter. A commercial medevac brought him to Alaska Regional’s emergency room in critical condition.
Petty officer Shawn Eggert says the Coast Guard is investigating what happened, but at this point, he says it’s clear Marciniak’s illness wasn’t linked to his job.
Marciniak was a Marine Science Technician — one of five at the Unalaska MSD. He was 30 years old.
Unalaska’s lobbyists will be gearing up for a fight to keep the State Trooper patrol vessel Stimson homeported there.
At last week’s city council meeting, Unalaska City Manager Chris Hladick said the state wants to relocate the Stimson to Kodiak. He said it would save the state about half a million dollars as part of governor’s proposed budget for next year.
But Hladick said it would be bad news for the Aleutians. As a result, he said the city’s legislators will be hearing from them.
He said not having an enforcement vessel in Unalaska ”doesn’t sound like a really good idea whatsoever.” He added that Kodiak is a two-and-a-half day steam from Unalaska in the best of conditions.
The Stimson currently patrols the Bering Sea fisheries and Western Alaska along with the P/V Woldstad, which is stationed in Kodiak.
A young bald eagle is seen perching in the rafters of the Alaska Ship Supply store in Unalaska Wednesday. KUCB photo
A department store in Unalaska had an unwelcome customer for about three hours Wednesday night — a bald eagle, which flew in a loading door and refused to leave. The juvenile bird flew around the Alaska Ship Supply store for about three hours before state troopers and employees were able to get it out. KUCB’s Annie Ropeik has this report from the scene. Watch the video of the bird’s adventures in the store here.
High winds and rough seas drove the fishing vessel Chaos onto the rocks outside Unalaska Friday night — and delayed a Coast Guard air rescue of the ship’s crew.
The Chaos is a 54-foot longliner based out of Homer. Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Mooers says the four crew members pulled into Unalaska Bay on Friday night to ride out a heavy storm.
“They were at anchor and the high winds actually broke their anchor and pushed them ashore. They contacted the harbormaster who then contacted us.”
The Coast Guard sent an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from its forward base in Cold Bay, along with an MH-60 Jayhawk from Kodiak.
The pilots tried to pick up the Chaos crew right away, but Mooers says the storm turned them back.
“The winds we were dealing with … were 50 miles per hour sustained, with gusts to 83 and rain. It was just more than we could hoist safely in.”
The helicopter crews were able to confirm that the vessel was intact on the rocks, and not leaking fuel. They asked the fishermen to stay put and wait for calmer weather. Continue reading