High winds beached a 150-foot seafood processing barge in Bristol Bay

A Northline Seafoods barge was beached near Ekuk after a storm hit the area with 80 mph winds
A Northline Seafoods barge was beached near Ekuk after a storm hit the area with 80 mph winds. (Photo courtesy of Russell Nelson)

A seafood processing barge in Bristol Bay sustained severe damage after it was beached during the first major storm of the season.

The 150-foot vessel belongs to Northline Seafoods and is worth $7 million. It was beached near Ekuk, a fishing community south of Dillingham.

Pat Glaab is Northline’s chief executive, and he says the storm hit the area with winds of up to 80 miles per hour.

“There were six people on board. And basically, the buoy parted about 10:30 at night,” Glaab said. “We deployed our backup anchors, and they didn’t hold, and then we ended up on the beach south of Ekuk about four miles, actually. And then just beached at high tide.”

The processing company uses the barge to buy fish, freeze them and send them out to sellers.

Pictures of the beached barge show a collapsed housing unit on top. Glaab says his insurance company is going to pull the barge off the beach within the next two weeks.

“No oil spills or any contaminants like that. All that’s safe. There was some flooding in the engine room, so there will be some repairing there,” he said. “But basically, it didn’t really suffer any real hull damage or anything like that. Just the house. You know there’s the house on stilts and it just sort of… one end of it collapsed over.”

The repairs will cover the wrecked housing unit, but Glaab says he doesn’t know how much that will cost. He expects the barge to be back to running by next summer’s fishing season.

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