After 40 years in western Alaska, salvager Dan Magone is selling his namesake diving and marine rescue business. But, Magone will still be there to help when disaster strikes.
Magone says he’s been kicking around the idea of selling for a long time. Then, a new tide of Coast Guard vessel safety rules came along.
“We’re having so much trouble keeping up with the regulations,” Magone says.
Magone says he’s spent millions of dollars trying to get his response vessels up to code. In the meantime, more companies started to show up in Alaska to do salvage and rescue.
“You have the competition and then you have the increase in magnitude of the response needs and the combination of those — I just couldn’t ante up to that level,” he says. “So that’s why I’m merging with Resolve.”
That’s Resolve Marine Group. They’re a salvage and oil spill response company based out of Fort Lauderdale. They worked on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, and helped clean up New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Magone won’t say how much Resolve paid him. And Todd Duke, a project manager for Resolve who’s been sent to Unalaska, says the company’s still working out the details out of the acquisition.
“Quite frankly, we are still developing our plan,” Duke says. “We don’t expect anything to change much.”
Resolve has plenty of international salvage experience, but relatively little in Alaska. That’s why they’re keeping Magone in charge of the shop in Unalaska, until the 61-year-old wants to retire.
Beyond that, Duke says the biggest shift is in the maritime resources that will be staged in Unalaska. Resolve has already sent a barge, a crane, and an ice-class anchor-handling rescue tug to join Magone’s fleet in Unalaska.
“We’re making the area better because we brought some assets that are different than the assets that are currently here,” Duke says.
They’ll be put to use over the next week, when the Resolve crew joins Magone Marine in Dillingham to work on the salvage of the F/V Lone Star.
The vessel’s been stuck at the bottom of the Igushik River for two months. The Lone Star is a small job compared to the bulk freighters, ship fires and large-scale oil spills that Magone’s tackled over the years.
For his new partner, though, it might be a good look at what Alaska has in store.