The FV Alaskan Leader. Photo Alaskan Leader Fisheries
A Kodiak-based freezer-longliner is being escorted into the port of Dutch Harbor today, after fire knocked out its starboard main engine. The 150-foot Alaskan Leader reported to the Coast Guard last night that it had an engine room fire, which the crew successfully extinguished at about 9:30 p.m. The ship was 103 miles northwest of Unimak Pass when the incident occurred. The engine room reportedly suffered extensive damage.
Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis in Kodiak says several nearby fishing vessels, including the Frontier Explorer, Frontier Spirit and Eastern Wind responded to a Coast Guard call for assistance. The San Diego-based cutter Sherman, on patrol in the Bering Sea, also responded, arriving on scene at 3:30 this morning, allowing the other vessels to resume fishing.
Francis says the Alaskan Leader was making about 5 knots on its port main diesel, but was forced to rely on manual steering. A contract tug was called to tow the ship to Dutch Harbor. They are expected to arrive in port later this afternoon.
The Alaskan Leader has a crew of 23, and no injuries were reported. The ship has bout 9,000 pounds of frozen cod on board. The Coast Guard Sector Anchorage chief of inspections, Lieutenant Bradley Clare, said the Marine Safety Detachment in Unalaska will investigate the incident and assess the damage.