Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB - Unalaska
Lauren Rosenthal is a reporter for KUCB in Unalaska.
Atka is home to just 71 people. But that’s about to change. The city’s processing plant wants to quadruple its workforce — and with that, the community is ramping up a campaign to replace its dilapidated clinic.
When the Tustumena ferry went in for repairs this winter, it was supposed to be fixed up in time for the 2013 season, but the ferry is still nowhere near ready. Now, the state has been forced to cancel service to Western Alaska for the entire month of June.
As the Alaska Marine Highway System approaches its 50th anniversary, the ferry is struggling with its identity. Under intense pressure to cut costs, the ferry’s managers are trying to get back to basics — transporting Alaskans and their freight.
The Kulluk and the Xiang Rui Kou heavy lift vessel have left their anchorage in Unalaska — but the ships aren’t on their way to Asia yet. The vessels have been moved to Broad Bay, just outside of town, says Coast Guard Lt. Jim Fothergill.
After three weeks in port, Shell’s Kulluk drill rig is set to leave Unalaska on Tuesday. The rig has been loaded on the Xiang Rui Kou heavy lift ship in Captains Bay. Coast Guard Lt. Jim Fothergill says the vessels are scheduled to leave at 10 p.m. Tuesday night.
The executive in charge of Shell’s troubled Arctic drilling program is stepping down. David Lawrence was Shell’s vice president for North American exploration. He’s been with the company for almost 30 years. Now, a spokesman says he’s leaving “by mutual consent.”
Preparations are officially underway for the Kulluk drill rig’s trip to Asia. Early Tuesday morning, three tugboats maneuvered the Shell rig out of its berth in Unalaska and onto the deck of the Xiang Rui Kou heavy lift vessel.
Shell’s Kulluk drill rig is almost ready to leave Alaska waters. The heavy lift vessel that will take the damaged oil rig to Asia for repairs arrived in Unalaska on Sunday afternoon. The Xiang Rui Kou was escorted to its anchorage in Captains Bay by three tugs.
After a few quiet months, Cleveland Volcano is waking up. Cleveland’s last recorded eruption was in November. Then, at the end of January, the Alaska Volcano Observatory’s satellites picked up warming temperatures on Cleveland’s surface. And they found a new lava dome growing in the summit crater. It’s 330 feet in diameter — just shy of a football field.
The Shin Onoe cargo ship has left Unalaska ahead of schedule, and without incident. Coast Guard Lt. Jim Fothergill says the vessel passed its sea trials and a Coast Guard inspection, and left Summer Bay around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The Northern fur seals that breed on the Pribilof Islands have been on the decline for decades, a smaller colony just 200 miles away is thriving. A new study of these colonies is challenging scientists’ assumptions about what marine animals need from their environment — and how they get it.
When it finally arrives in Unalaska next week, the Shin Onoe will be one of the biggest vessels to ever stay in port here. It’s 150 feet wide, with a 60 foot draft when it’s full of coal, soybeans, or iron. Right now, it’s empty. It was traveling along the Great Circle shipping route to Prince William Sound early this week to pick up cargo when its turbocharger failed, just west of Attu island.
This week, McDonald’s doubled down on its commitment to Alaskan pollock. The chain announced that it will stop using other fish and switch to 100 percent Alaskan pollock in all 14,000 of its United States restaurants.
Fishing is off-limits in the Arctic. But this summer, a pair of commercial trawlers traveled north to the Chukchi Sea. They were on a scientific mission, to conduct the first-ever comprehensive study of the Chukchi’s ecosystem.
Fishing is off-limits in the Arctic, but last summer, a pair of commercial trawlers traveled north to the Chukchi Sea. They were on a scientific mission, to conduct the first-ever comprehensive study of the Chukchi’s ecosystem.
Shell’s Noble Discoverer drill rig has had several high-profile mishaps in 2012. Now, the Coast Guard says it found problems with the rig’s on-board systems during an emergency inspection in Seward.
It’s been eight years since the Selendang Ayu cargo ship lost control and split in half outside Unalaska, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil and killing six crewmembers.
When dead marine mammals wash up in Unalaska, a team of local scientists springs into action to reconstruct what went wrong. These forensic investigators come from the fish and wildlife office, from a university program and, as was the case this month, Unalaska’s high school.
When cargo ships run into trouble along the Great Circle shipping route, they often end up in Unalaska. There are plenty of support services in town, but there’s only so much dock space. And with Unalaska’s rough weather, simply dropping anchor isn’t secure enough.