A 64-foot tugboat ran aground near the Port of Brownsville on Monday, February 4, 2019. (Photo by Randy Morgan)

A 64-foot tugboat ran aground near the Port of Brownsville on Monday, February 4, 2019. (Photo by Randy Morgan)

Rescue planned for tugboat grounded near Port of Brownsville

“We’re still trying to understand what happened,” said Curtis Allan, a manager with Alaska Logistics.

BREMERTON – A 64-foot tugboat became unmoored and ran aground Monday morning near the Port of Brownsville in Central Kitsap.

Photos taken by passersby before 8:48 a.m. show the vessel Fish Hawk washed up on shore alongside Illahee Road. The steel tug, built in 1982 according to registration records, did not appear to suffer major damage in the incident.

The vessel is owned by Alaska Logistics, a shipping company that transports goods from the Seattle region to remote parts of Western Alaska inaccessible by car.

Curtis Allan, a manager with Alaska Logistics, said the Coast Guard was monitoring the situation while the company sent a rescue boat from Seattle to tow the vessel to safety.

He said tow efforts would be dependent on the tides.

“They’re assessing the tides to see which ones will be correct,” he said. “The plan is to have it out of there by the morning.”

The company didn’t know exactly how the vessel had been set loose as of Monday afternoon.

“We’re still trying to understand what happened,” Allan said.

The boat had been moored at the Port of Brownsville for about two months, said Matt Appleton, a port spokesperson.

He said port officials were also unsure what had happened, though he said inclement weather was likely a factor.

“It broke loose sometime in the storm last night,” he said. “We don’t know why.”

According to the National Weather Service, wind speeds in Silverdale early Monday morning reached gusts of 23 mph, while temperatures dipped to 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because of snow accumulation in the region, Alaska Logistics met with some obstacles in initiating rescue efforts, Allan said. But they planned to have the vessel moored again as soon as possible.

“We’ll have it out of there at the first available tide that’s high enough,” he said. “Then we have to ascertain why exactly it came unmoored.”

Gabe Stutman is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. Follow him on Twitter @kitsapgabe.

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