Coast Guard charges owner of derelict fishing vessel Alaska Patriot

The Coast Guard has initiated a Class I Civil Penalty against the owner of the vessels Alaska Patriot and Alaska Pioneer after the Alaska Patriot was left adrift and derelict approximately 172 miles south of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in December 2017.


A small boat crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon conducts air operations training with a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew while underway May 27, 2015. The crew of the Mellon, a 378-foot high-endurance cutter homeported in Seattle, has been patrolling the high seas in search of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activity in support of Operation North Pacific Guard. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

High-Seas Driftnets: Destroyers of the Deep

For Operation North Pacific Guard, USCGC Mellon combats illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing

For nearly a year, the net has been forgotten. The fishermen who placed it there never located the radio beacon attached to it, so with a shrug of their shoulders they moved on. Not a single one of them has lost a moment of sleep or wondered what became of it; they didn’t see the dolphins flailing or hear the cries of the whales as the driftnet ensnared entire pods. As weeks passed, the commotion and the scent of prey drew in sharks and seals, and one by one they swam into the wall, where they would either suffocate or starve. Suspended across five miles, the hungry net continues to feed: tuna, turtles, salmon, squid, even birds, until…

“Everything,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Roy Hawes, a boatswain’s mate assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mellon. “Everything dies.”


On the front lines of safety

From the East Coast to the West Coast and up to the frigid waters of Alaska, fishermen brave the elements to deliver the sea’s bounty to supermarket shelves and dinner tables. There are fisheries year-round in Alaska, and some of […]