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Monday, July 24, 2006

Ship in trouble off Alaska

Reported here:
A crewmember from the Singapore based container ship Cougar Ace, a car carrier with 23 people on board, contacted the North Pacific Search and Rescue Coordination Center at 11:09 p.m. Sunday. He reported that they were taking on water and listing 80 degrees.

The Cougar Ace is currently located about 230 miles south of the Aleutian Island Chain, in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean.
U.S. Coast Guard ship enroute, C-130 overhead:
A Coast Guard C-130 plane was circling over the Cougar Ace, which sent out an SOS late Sunday night, Petty Officer Stephen Harrison said. A Coast Guard cutter was on its way to the site, 230 miles of the Adak in the western Aleutians.

A merchant ship in the area also was heading to the site and expected to arrive shortly, Harrison said.
UPDATE: New report here says liferaft has been dropped by C-130 and the other merchant ship has a line over to the Cougar Ace to try and halt the listing:
The 654-foot ship, which had been carrying cars from Singapore to Canada, but was at an 80 degree angle to the water Monday morning and appeared to be leaking oil.

"It's sitting on its side, basically," Petty Officer Stephen Harrison said.

A merchant marine ship that had been in the area was trying to rig a line to the Cougar Ace to keep it from tilting futher, while the Coast Guard worked on a way to get the life raft, which landed some distance way, to the crew, said Petty Officer Thomas McKenzie. All 22 crew members were wearing survival suits, officials said.
Massive load shift? Great big wave strike?

UPDATE: Latest report here says helos enroute with refueling plane and another C-130. Crew ready to abandon ship.

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