Coast Guard Evacuates 20 From Rebecca Irene

The Coast Guard has evacuated most the crew of the 140-foot catcher-processor Rebecca Irene.

The ship contacted the Coast Guard early Tuesday morning to report that they had lost power in one engine and had limited propulsion.

Winds of up to 55 mph and seas of up to 35 feet are expected for this evening in the area near Unimak Pass where the vessel is reported to be.

The Coast Guard cutter Sherman evacuated 20 non-essential members of the 34-person crew earlier this afternoon in relatively calm winds and seas.

The 14 crew members who remain onboard the vessel will probably face some rough conditions later today.  Although the boat is headed for shelter in Urilla Bay on the north side of Unimak Island, it is only traveling at 6 mph and will have to weather the storm in open seas.

There are 270,000 pounds of frozen fish in the Rebecca Irene’s holds.  The vessel is equipped with survival suits and three life rafts.

Coast Guard cutter Sherman will stay with the vessel until a tug contracted by the ship’s parent company arrives.  Magone Marine Services in Unalaska has dispatched the tug Double Eagle, but weather will likely keep it from reaching the vessel until Wednesday at the earliest.

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