Coast Guard assists in rescue of cargo vessel in GOA

CG cutter Morgenthau diverts to scene from 500 miles away

A Coast Guard rescue crew assisted in a multi-day Gulf of Alaska rescue and safe transit incident involving a 400-foot cargo vessel with 12 people aboard, after the engine problems restricted the vessel’s speed and maneuverability.

Coast Guard officials received a call for help on Oct. 5 from the master of the BBC Colorado, who said the cargo vessel had experienced a severe engine casualty.

Given the forecasted seas of 30-feet and winds in excess of 50 knots closing in on the area, the Colorado asked for Coast Guard assistance and the Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau was diverted to the scene some 500 miles away.

The Morgenthau, home ported in Honolulu, was at the time on an Alaska patrol to carry out a living marine resources mission in the Bering Sea.

En route to the Colorado, the Morgenthau’s command center worked with the 17th District Command Center in Juneau to create a rescue assistance plan for the Colorado. The Coast Guard issued a marine assistance request, prompting a response from the Resolve Pioneer, which had previously trained with the Morgenthau on emergency tows. This past September, the two vessels conducted a training exercise near Dutch Harbor utilizing a towing system designed specifically for large cargo vessels disable in the region.

Once within range of the Colorado, the Morgenthau crew launched a helicopter to evaluate the condition of the Colorado, capture images of the vessel to better assist in the tow, and made radio contact with the master.


The Morgenthau then maintained a constant presence with the Colorado for over 24 hours, until the Resolve Pioneer arrived. The Morgenthau had readied emergency gear, including heavy towlines, survival equipment and increased its own crew readiness to be ready if immediate response was needed.

The Resolve Pioneer, a sea going tug boat based at Dutch Harbor, arrived on the scene on Oct. 8 and set up tow with the Colorado under the observation of Morgenthau. After confirming that the tow was holding and intact, the crew of the Morgenthau resumed their mission of fisheries enforcement on the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, and the Resolve Pioneer made way for Washington state with the Colorado in tow.