The 78-foot fishing vessel Lone Star, which had been operating as a salmon tender in the Igushik River before it sank on June 30, is finally on its way out of Bristol Bay.
It’s been under tow since Wednesday, and is expected in Dutch Harbor on Saturday.
Salvage experts have been wrestling with the Lone Star for the last three months, first trying to prevent fuel from leaking into the river, and next turning to the recovery.
The vessel continued inching its way into the mud of the Igushik riverbed, until it was no longer visible, even at low tide. The Lone Star refused to budge during the first attempt to hoist it out in August, but an attempt on Sept. 30 was successful.
The Double Eagle began towing the Lone Star out of the river at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, with a second recovery vessel following behind as a precaution, says Shawn Eggert, a spokesman for the Coast Guard unit monitoring the recovery.
“They met up with the Western Viking about two hours later – that’s the vessel that’s going to be escorting them, just in case there is any kind of mechanical issues or any other need for help out there,” Eggert said. “But, yeah, so far everything seems to be going well.”
There’s no word yet on the future plans for the Lone Star.
The owner’s insurance company is expected to cover the costs for the three and a half months of salvage and recovery, as well as make good with the Igushik set net fishermen whose season was lost after an oily sheen emanating from the Lone Star prompted Department of Fish and Game to close their fishery.