Coast Guard slowly pulling processor toward Juneau

Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2005

ANCHORAGE (AP) — A Coast Guard cutter slowly towed a large commercial fish processing ship that was adrift in the Gulf of Alaska toward a safe harbor Wednesday.

There are 204 people aboard the 360-foot Independence, which lost its ability to steer Monday in rough seas in the Gulf of Alaska.

''It is still moving slowly on over,'' Coast Guard Petty Officer Gail Sinner said at about 8 a.m. Wednesday. The ship and the cutter Storis were just east of Cordova moving at slightly more than 2 mph toward Juneau, she said.

A tug is expected to rendezvous with the Independence and take over towing the ship to Cape Spencer and Juneau, well over 200 miles away.

The ship's steering system failed Monday in 20-foot seas with blowing snow and winds as high as 60 mph. The weather calmed Tuesday and improved even more Wednesday, except for some morning fog,

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