(Currently details are spotty, awaiting the arrival of my brother for the full story. Please note that this page isn't meant to be exciting. I just wanted to save the various tidbits related to the incident, but also have them available for family & friends to view.)

On June 26, 2011 the Tug Aries sank in the Bering Sea. The four crew members, of which my brother was the Captain, were rescued without injury a number of hours after they'd moved from the listing tug onto the barge which they were towing.

The night previous to the sinking (the mayday call went out around 6am local time) my brother had just setup email from the tug and had sent me the first of what was planned to be a number of latitude and longitude reports. With those I'd plot his journey on Google Map so family and friends could have an idea where he's been and where he's going. Alas, the map didn't get far. Here's what I did with it, mostly relative to the sinking of the tug.

View Where's Doug? (Tug Aries) in a larger map

1JUL11 My nephew, Capt. Pine's son, just posted a fantastic video:

I encourage you to visit his youtube channel to say "thanks!".

Mayday Radio Call:


There were a number of short news articles in various newspapers, mostly just repeating the Coast Guard's press release(s). The shipwrecklog.com site however contains a nice photo of the tug, and a brief summary about the sinking.
Coast Guard News Releases...
(Initial USCG News Release)

June 26, 2011

Coast Guard, good Samaritan responding to sunken tug east of St. Paul Island

KODIAK, Alaska - The Coast Guard is responding to a report of the 68-foot tug Aries taking on water with four crewmembers aboard 109 miles east of St. Paul Island Sunday.

Communication Station Kodiak watchstanders received the initial notification from the crew of the Aries at 6:11 a.m. reporting the vessel was taking on water and the crew was donning their survival suits. The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting any vessels in the area assist the Aries crew if possible.

The Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders directed the launch of an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to respond. They also diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, currently in the Bering Sea, to the scene.

The Hercules crew arrived on scene at about 9:30 a.m. and confirmed the tug has sunk and the four crew are safely aboard the barge they were towing. The 29-foot good Samaritan fishing vessel Alaska Knight was in the area and responded to the UMIB and is expected to arrive on scene at 11:10 a.m. The helicopter and Healy crews are still en route.

The weather on scene is reported as 29 mph winds, 11-foot seas and a water temperature of 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

The tug Aries is owned by C&K Marine based out of Anchorage and reportedly has 29,000 gallons of diesel on board.
(Second USCG News Release)

June 26, 2011

KODIAK, Alaska - A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued the four crewmembers of the tug Aries from their barge 109 miles east of St. Paul Island Sunday afternoon after the 68-foot tug sank in the Bering Sea.

The helicopter rescue crew arrived on scene at about 1:34 p.m. and hoisted the crewmembers. They were safely flown to St. Paul Island with no reported injuries. The crew was able to transfer from the Aries to the barge before the tug sank.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel are investigating the cause of the sinking and are working with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation personnel and the vessel's owner, C&K Marine based out of Anchorage, to salvage the tug and address any environmental concerns. There is reportedly 29,000 gallons of diesel on board.

An Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircrew, dispatched to relieve the Hercules aircrew that arrived on scene at 9:30 a.m., reported a 1,500 foot by 800 foot diesel sheen in the vicinity of the barge and sunken tug. The crew of the 29-foot good Samaritan vessel Alaska Knight is on scene and the Coast Guard Cutter Healy and crew are also en route to render assistance if needed.

The weather at the time of the incident was reported as 29 mph winds, 11-foot seas and a water temperature of 46 degrees.
(Third USCG News Release)

June 27, 2011

click for larger image

KODIAK, Alaska - The Coast Guard, State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and C&K Marine are working jointly to address the environmental impact and response efforts concerning the sinking of the 68-foot tug Aries Monday.

The three parties evaluated the pollution threat in coordination with environmental experts and determined there is minimal environmental impact at sea and no environmental threat to Alaskan shorelines. Their decision to recover the Aries and any oil products on board will take into account a pending assessment of the tug and the safety risks involved with potential salvage operations. The tug has approximately 29,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 240 gallons of lube oil and 68 gallons of hydraulic oil on board the Aries. The owner of the tug is responsible for salvage and response operations.

The 94-foot tug Blarney, homeported out of Naknek, is scheduled to recover the barge around 7 p.m. and tow it to Nome.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued the four crewmembers of the tug Aries from their barge 109 miles east of St. Paul Island Sunday after the tug sank in the Bering Sea. The weather on scene was reported as 29 mph winds, 11-foot seas and a water temperature of 46 degrees.



USCG video of an airdrop (radio canister), which unfortunately missed the barge. (This link opens in a new page and is a WMV format video, and *slightly* better quality than the below mp4 format.)



Here's some pictures that Steve Milligan took, and has given me permission to use them (thanks Steve!). Steve also mentioned that one of the trucks on the barge had, thankfully, an air-band (VHF) radio, which they used to keep in contact with the USCG:









The above images are Copyright Steve Milligan. Used by permission.

Okay, so I suck at graphics. The below image is not an accurate rendering of how a ship will sit at such a list, but here's a quick idea of what "30" degrees of list is like (I set it at 27.5 degrees in the image, so 30's actually a bit more).