Coast Guard sends cutter to aid disabled freighter

Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Coast Guard diverted a cutter from patrol in the Bering Sea crab fishery Tuesday to assist a ship that lost power.

The Alam Selaras, a 595-foot bulk carrier loaded with grain, was dead in the water about 180 miles north of Dutch Harbor in the Bering Sea.

The ship's crew contacted the Coast Guard on Tuesday morning to report that its main diesel quit working.

The Alam Selaras is Malaysian-flagged and was en route from Vancouver, British Columbia to Japan.

The ship originally alerted the Coast Guard Saturday night that its main diesel engine had failed. However, the captain contacted the Coast Guard on Sunday night to report that the engine had been restarted.

The cutter Alex Haley was expected to arrive Tuesday night. The Coast Guard reported that winds were from the north-northeast at 45 knots with 22-foot seas that were expected to increase to 25 feet. The Alam Selaras was drifting southwest at about 2 mph.

The vessel's agent, Alaska Maritime Agency, is making arrangements for commercial assistance.

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