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Tow vessel reaches crippled freighter

Beset by rough seas, the 738-foot Golden Seas is expected to finish a 275-mile journey to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, tomorrow. Beset by rough seas, the 738-foot Golden Seas is expected to finish a 275-mile journey to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, tomorrow. (US Coast Guard via Associated Press)
Associated Press / December 6, 2010

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ANCHORAGE — A crippled cargo ship carrying nearly a half million gallons of fuel oil was under tow toward a safe harbor yesterday, easing concerns the vessel could go aground in Alaska’s remote Aleutian Islands.

The 738-foot Golden Seas with 20 crew members was expected to reach Dutch Harbor, Alaska, 275 miles away, early tomorrow, Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Dana Warr said.

Initially the boat was estimated to arrive early today, but Warr said the tug boat’s captain decided to take a longer route south of the island chain to avoid rough seas and bad weather. The course change will add about 20 to 30 hours to the trip, Warr said.

The Coast Guard said fears that the ship would run aground had eased and it was in no immediate danger. There were no reports of injury among the crew of either vessel.

A Coast Guard cutter was en route and was expected to escort the vessels to Dutch Harbor for repairs.

The ship had engine trouble in strong winds and rough seas Friday that caused it to drift toward Atka Island, about 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage. It was en route from Vancouver, Canada, to the United Arab Emirates, the Coast Guard said.

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