Neah Bay: Rescue tug tows disabled fish-processing vessel

The rescue tug Barbara Foss on Sunday morning towed a disabled 300-foot fish-processing vessel to Port Angeles Harbor where another tug then towed it to Seattle for repairs.

The vessel Sea Freeze Alaska was disabled about 16 miles west of Victoria in the shipping lanes, a company official for Foss Maritime Co. confirmed. The Barbara Foss, moored in Neah Bay, towed the Sea Freeze Alaska to Port Angeles, arriving at 10:35 a.m. The tug Western Ranger then towed the disabled vessel to Seattle

Fred Felleman, Northwest director of the Ocean Advocates in Seattle, which supports tug rescue operations on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, said the vessel was disabled after an explosion and fire.

Felleman, whose environmental group monitors shipping traffic and rescue operations in the Strait, said the Sea Freeze Alaska, a fish processing vessel, was westbound for Alaska when it was disabled just three miles off the Race Rock Ecological Reserve, a sensitive killer whale migration site.

“The U.S. and Canada both benefited from the Barbara Foss today,” said Felleman, adding that this is why both countries should join forces for funding the tug rescue operation in the future.

The Barbara Foss has been involved in 22 such operations since March 1999, records show.

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