Deck Watch goes to the Iditarod

Ken Anderson's Iditarod start in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Coast Guard sponsored Iditarod musher Ken Anderson departs on the first leg of the 40th running of the Iditarod, March 3, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley.

The Coast Guard is sponsoring Ken Anderson, an Iditarod race veteran during his running of the 40th Iditarod race that extends through some of Alaska’s toughest terrain on a route to Nome. This week Deck Watch speaks with Anderson and District 17 Chief of Staff Capt. Norman Custard about the race and it;s meaning. Click here to listen.

In other Coast Guard news this week:

March 2 – Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez personnel responded to the sinking of the fishing vessel Cape Kasilof in the Chenega Small Boat Harbor Tuesday and continue to monitor pollution response efforts. The 33-foot vessel sunk in its berth in the Chenega Small Boat Harbor due to excessive snow load. Two 55-gallon fuel drums on the vessel’s deck had been used in place of the vessel’s fuel tanks and a mild sheen was reported around the vessel. The Coast Guard federalized the case and hired Alaska Marine Response to remove all pollutants on board and contain discharged oil after the Cape Kasilof’s owner indicated his inability to respond to the sinking. AMR arrived on scene Thursday and deployed containment boom around the vessel. Sorbent pads were placed inside the boom to recover fuel. Divers inspected the vessel, plugged fuel vents and removed one drum of fuel which was punctured and leaking. Sheening appeared to stop once the drum was removed from the water. Total quantity of fuel discharged is estimated to be approximately 10 gallons of diesel and bilge slops. All fuel on the vessel was recovered with the exception of approximately seven gallons of hydraulic oil in the engine room which could not be safely accessed by the divers. Containment boom is currently anchored in place. MSU Valdez and AMR personnel continue to monitor the situation.

March 3 – Coast Guard sponsored Iditarod musher Ken Anderson departed on the first leg of the 40th running of the Iditarod, Wednesday. The Coast Guard is sponsoring Anderson in the 40th Iditarod as part of an outreach effort to the villages in remote northern Alaska and in tribute to the Coast Guard’s historical partnership with the people of Alaska. As of Thursday morning Anderson had 600 miles left to Nome and was travelling with 13 dogs in 28th place just over five hours behind the leader.

March 6 – Personnel at the Dutch Harbor Clinic requested the transport of a 47-year-old man suffering from respiratory distress symptoms. The Coast Guard launched a Kodiak-based MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from the nearby Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and transported the patient to Cold Bay with a Dutch Harbor Clinic Physician’s Assistant. Commercial medevac services continued transport of the patient.

March 7 – A Kodiak-based MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew medevaced a fisherman from the 314-foot Seattle-based fishing vessel Arctic Storm 63 miles west of Cold Bay Wednesday evening.
Coast Guard District 17 watchstanders received a request from Health Force Partners in Seattle for a medevac of a 52-year-old man reportedly suffering from cardiac distress. The watchstanders requested the Arctic Storm crew to divert their course to get within range of the helicopter assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley on patrol in the Bering Sea and directed the launch of the helicopter crew. The helicopter crew safely hoisted the patient at 11:44 p.m. from the vessel and delivered him to awaiting emergency medical crews in Cold Bay.

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