Coming Exhibit at Museum of the Aleutians

Port of Refuge:
Udaagamax (Stories from Alaska’s Marine Salvage Master)
A forthcoming exhibition at Museum of the Aleutians
Opening June 1, 2020.

Udaagamax is Unangan (Aleut)  for “safe place to go.” This exhibit will feature the stories and images of the work of legendary Arctic salvage master Dan Magone.

The Aleutian Islands are the longest small-island archipelago in the world, the volcanic peaks of a submarine mountain chain stretching from Alaska to Siberia, three hundred wind-blown, treeless islands, fog-shrouded in summer and snow-covered in winter, and separating two of the coldest, stormiest, richest seas on the planet, the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea.

ship covered with ice
“Making a Salvage Plan.” Dan Magone surveys the grounded Mar-Gun fishing vessel.

The main port of refuge in these remote islands is Dutch Harbor, Alaska. “Dutch” is America’s busiest fishing port and home to hundreds of fishing vessels, including those featured on the long-running television series, Deadliest Catch.

These fishing vessels, processors, refrigerator ships – and the massive cargo and tanker ships which pass nearby on the Great Circle Route from Asia to America – often get into trouble. They collide, capsize, run aground, break apart, catch fire, spill oil, take on water, drag anchor, and sink. Lives and property and the environment are suddenly at risk!

There is a man in Dutch Harbor who has been saving troubled ships for forty years. His name is Dan Magone, and he is a Marine Salvage Master. His presence, know-how, vessels, crew, and equipment at Magone Marine are so instrumental in solving marine problems in Western Alaska that the U.S. Coast Guard calls him “The Aleutian Solution.”

The stories and photographs reveal the dangerous, rugged, highly-skilled salvage work of Dan Magone and his crew of divers, shipwrights, and mariners. Dan calls them “The Toughest Guys on Earth.”

Join them on storm-tossed, ice-choked seas as they rescue injured fishermen, tow disabled tankers, pull ships off the rocks, raise sunken ships, put out fires, lay demolitions, dive in 30-degree water, and contain oil spills.

Dan Magone, a well-known storyteller, narrates his maritime stories with humor and humanity, and also tells the larger story of the islands, seas, history, and peoples of Western Alaska.

Salvage Master Dan Magone in boat, Aleutian Islands
“Righting the Beast.” Ted Sherebernikoff, a Magone crew member, assists in the righting of the Cougar Ace, a car carrier with 5,500 Mazdas aboard.

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