Aoyagi Maru, Lost Harbor


Aoyagi Maru, Lost Harbor

by | Aug 20, 2018

On December 10, 1988, Aoyagi Maru, a Japanese refrigerant vessel 288-feet (88 m) long, was wrecked at Lost Harbor on Akun Island, about 44 miles (71 km) northeast of Dutch Harbor and 9 miles (14.5 km) northeast of Akutan, Alaska.

Aoyagi Maru was tied up alongside the anchored Bering Trader and transferring fish. A winter storm was blowing causing the Bering Trader’s anchor to drag. The vessels were forced to separate but the mooring lines fouled Aoyagi Maru’s propeller, rendering the ship powerless and adrift. She eventually grounded on a rocky beach and the hull was ruptured with holes in the engine room and two of its three cargo holds.

Despite the extremely inclement weather, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Rush was on the scene by December 11 to rescue the crew of 19. It was December 15 before the weather permitted observers to reach the vessel. Reports indicated only a sheen around the vessel and minimal pollution, with seawater in the flooded hull hydraulically supporting the Bunker C fuel oil. On March 19, 1989, the U.S. Coast Guard ignited explosives to burn off the 100,000 gallons (378,541 l) of fuel oil remaining on aboard and the cargo of 74,000 pounds (33,565 kg) of rotting cod. Read more here and here. Explore more of Lost Harbor and Akun Island here:

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