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Tug Pathfinder Secure in Valdez ~ Investigation and Vessel Assessment Ongoing


(VALDEZ, Alaska; December 31, 2009) The Crowley Marine Services tug Pathfinder is now moored in Valdez undergoing a more thorough assessment of damage following its grounding on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound on December 23, 2009. Response operations related to the grounding have been completed and efforts are now focused on vessel assessment and investigation into the circumstances surrounding the grounding.

"Once notified of the grounding, Crowley's initial focus was on the safety of the crew, stability of the vessel, and mobilization of a response to the damaged vessel along with containment and cleanup of diesel fuel from the damaged fuel tanks" said Charlie Nalen, Crowley vice president. "Now that we have secured the vessel, Crowley will proceed with its internal investigation and continue to cooperate with the U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as they investigate the grounding."

After the grounding, Crowley relieved the Captain and second mate from duties aboard the vessel while the investigation is pending. No decisions related to the ultimate status of the crew will be made until the investigation is complete. "This investigation will involve a detailed review of data from several sources." said Nalen. "It is critical that we allow the investigation to proceed to conclusion so we can fully understand what caused the accident and identify measures to prevent a similar occurrence."

Crowley will provide a more detailed description of damage to the vessel after engineers complete their survey. In addition, final calculations for the amount of diesel fuel released from the vessel will be transmitted to the U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as soon as they are completed.

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