The landing craft Polar Bear aground at the east end of Near Island on Monday. The day before it had gone aground near the west end of Near Island. Iver Holm photo
It was a rough couple of days for a landing craft in Kodiak Island waters. Sunday evening the 152-foot landing craft Polar Bear went aground on Gull Island at the west end of Near Island. But that was just the beginning of the Polar Bear’s troubles, and only the first time it would go aground near downtown Kodiak.
At about 8 o’clock Sunday night, the Kodiak Police Department received a 911 call from Jeffrey Barrowcliff, a 25-year-old crewman on vessel. He said his skipper was intoxicated and the Polar Bear was aground near St. Herman Harbor.
The Kodiak Harbormaster Office and some police officers boarded the vessel and found the master of the ship, Edward Dyer, intoxicated and reportedly not yet aware that he had run aground. The 50-year-old Dyer was arrested and charged with DUI, reckless endangerment and assault.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s Kodiak Marine Safety Detachment inspected the vessel on Monday and found no fuel had leaked from the Polar Bear.
After the MSD released the vessel, it’s owner came to take possession of the craft, and he made it almost all the way through the channel in front of town, before running aground on the east end of Near Island.
The Polar Bear had been refloated, and according to the Coast Guard, is safely anchored up.
A second inspection by the MSD was expected today (Tuesday).