The US Coast Guard Captain of the Port Valdez ordered the Pacific Provider to return to its port of origin in Whittier. Two passengers provided statements to a USCG boarding team that they paid for a trip on the Pacific Provider. The boarding team found the vessel to be violating the Vessel Passenger Service Act.
Lt. Cmdr. Mason Wilcox, chief of inspections for Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, stated:
When people pay to be a passenger on a vessel in Alaska, part of their assumption is that the vessel’s operator is fully compliant with all safety regulations. It appears this vessel was not authorized to be taking passengers for hire and was avoiding Coast Guard oversight.
The Pacific Provider is now prohibited from operating in Coastwise Trade because the vessel had been previously registered in a foreign country.
USCG is currently conducting an investigation into the vessel’s operation.