7 rescued from boat moored to oil platform

Posted: Friday, January 16, 2009

KENAI - Seven people were rescued Thursday from a boat that was moored to an oil rig platform in Cook Inlet when it began taking on water.

U.s. Coast Guard / The Associated Press
U.s. Coast Guard / The Associated Press

The seven were taken to the platform where all nonessential personnel were then evacuated Thursday. No major injuries were reported.

According to the Coast Guard, a mayday call was received at 5:51 a.m. from the captain of the Monarch, an oil supply vessel. The captain reported that the 166-foot vessel was taking on water at the Granite Point platform, owned by Chevron Corp. The platform is situated in the northern section of Cook Inlet 45 miles southwest of Anchorage.

When the Monarch began taking on water, the people on the boat were evacuated to the platform, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Walter Shinn. As a precaution, 14 people on the platform then were ferried to shore using the platform's helicopter, he said.

Shinn said the seven people aboard the boat decided to stay on the platform.

The Monarch was carrying approximately 35,000 gallons of diesel fuel when it began taking on water. The vessel is partially submerged in the ice-covered waters underneath the oil platform.

"There is a lot of ice around the platform," Shinn said.

It was not immediately known if fuel was spilled.

The Coast Guard will be talking with Chevron about plans for raising the vessel, he said.

A tug from Nikiski was at the scene Thursday morning. A Coast Guard cutter also was on its way. When the weather improves, a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft will to go the scene as well.

Shinn said winds were 30 mph on Thursday and there was a low cloud ceiling.



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