US seiner disabled, drifting in South Pacific


What can fail so hard that you absolutely can’t get her to limp home? I can think of broken crankshaft, chipped reduction gear, catastrophic propeller damage, flooded ER… but not that much more. I suppose with modern engines you could add another few. What are common reasons that the chief sits down and gives up?

In the case of the Aiviq injectors were flow out to replace the ones damaged by water in the fuel.


A lot of, if not most of those types of seiners are single screw vessels…so when you are SOL, you are SOL.

1 Like

A net wrapped up in the prop so the shaft wont turn will do it. Especially if it’s single screw.

It shouldn’t take a diver with a blade more than a day to cut that. It’s been 5 days. Isn’t anybody gonna go bail these guys out?

1 Like

What, no spares on board? That’s scandalous. The ex CG cutter I keep talking about had a full set in brackets on the ER bulkhead, right next to half a set of pumps, and plenty of tips and plunger / barrel assemblies in the locker. Granted, she was built to spend great lengths of time in inhospitable places, but so was the Aiviq.

That’s horrendously dangerous work, but indeed the thing to do when you’re between a rock and utter desolation.

When you’re SOL, you get creative. Wasn’t it the Bright Field or somesuch that was found to have cracked liners welded and smoothed over with an angle grinder? Not a relevant example, but goes to show what lengths you can go to.

So far, I’ve limped into port with a stick welded crank snout extension (scary AF) and another time with a U joint packed with twine (the noise still wakes me up sometimes).

If you have to, there are ways to keep running after throwing a rod, as long as there is some structural integrity. Hell, I can imagine ways to jury rig a blown ECM on a common rail engine. Not so much with a chipped high pressure pump, but that’s why you carry a spare.

EDIT: I also knew a guy who completed a tow from the Eastern Baltic to the Oslo fjord with a governor carrier hewn from a chunk of steel with a die grinder. I’m sure there are far more spectacular stories out there. Isn’t there a book on the subject?

I have worked with a few tuna seiner chiefs. Not to generalize, but they are usually the sharpest you can get and very old school. You don’t get a spot as a chief on one of those long distance seiners unless you are resourceful and can pull horseshoes out of your ass.

With that being said, it must be something pretty unique to down that boat so hard, a real curve ball for the engineering crew on board.