Distressed Simushir is probably already on tow of tug Barbara Foss
Oct 19 0200 UTC: Russian freighter Simushir was towed off the coast by the Canadian Coast Guard ship Gordon Reid between 1830 PT (UTC – 8hrs) Oct 17 and 0930 PT Oct 18, increasing the distance from 12 nautical miles to some 26 nm, so there’s no imminent threat of grounding. Three times Gordon Reid took distressed freighter on tow, and three times towline parted. Nevertheless, Coast Guard managed to move the vessel out to the sea. Tug Barbara Foss from Seattle arrived to the scene at 1730 PT Oct 18, and probably already took Simushir on tow. Canadian Coast Guard ships Gordon Reid and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and U.S. Coast Guard cutter Spar, are standing by, being ill-fitted for the towage, especially in such challenging conditions. It seems though, that the weather has been improving lately, and the sea is calming down. 10 crew remained on board, CG helicopters standing by ready to evacuate people in case of emergency.
According to Russian MRCC, vessel suffered the break of lubricating compensator, which caused the main engine hitch. Russian master was injured in a fall after disabled vessel developed a heavy roll.
Russian freighter Simushir in distress off Moresby Island, British Columbia
Russian freighter Simushir suffered engine failure in stormy weather at around 0130 LT Oct 17 in North Pacific some 12 nm northwest of Gowgaia Bay, Moresby Island, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, en route from Port Angeles, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Wash State, to Porvideniya port, Chukotka, Russia. Vessel is drifting towards islands, tugs from Prince Rupert and from Alaska dispatched to assist Simushir and prevent grounding. Tugs are expected early in the morning Oct 18.Russian master was evacuated by helicopter, reportedly he was injured, details unknown, probably injure is related to an accident which left vessel disabled. Haida Nation fears oil spill, there are some 550 tons of fuel on board. Strong wind is pushing vessel towards the shore in a 10-meter sea.