The nearly finished 261-foot Alaska factory trawler North Star is currently resting on its starboard side in the waters of Saint Andrews Bay, Fla., a victim of fierce winds from Category 4 Hurricane Michael that swept through the region last week.
The trawler is under construction at Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City for Seattle-based Glacier Fish Co. The boat was launched in April 2018 and was scheduled to be completed and make its way to Alaska next month to start netting and processing Alaska groundfish.
“The boat was nearing completion, and because of all the destruction down there we have not been able to survey the vessel,” Jim Johnson, president of Glacier Fish Co. told the Seattle Times.
Glacier Fish Co. and Eastern Shipbuilding are reportedly working together, along with insurance and salvage officials to assess the damages. No representative from either company was available to comment directly in the days following the incident
Eastern Shipbuilding Group President Joey D’Isernia relayed a message to employees on the company website: “…both shipyards have taken hurricane damage. First and foremost, please take care of your families and secure your homes. Once that is done we need to hear from you and get back to work. The cleanup effort will take all of us so we can get back to building vessels.”
In September, Eastern Shipbuilding announced it was awarded the construction contract for the first U.S. Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter. The project was set to begin in early 2019 and employ close to 1,000 workers, said D’Isernia at the time. The contract could potentially build 25 boats for the Coast Guard over the next 20 years.