Coast Guard rescues boaters near Sitka

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to an emergency alert from a sightseeing plane in the area...
The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to an emergency alert from a sightseeing plane in the area around southeast Alaska’s Misty Fjords National Monument.(Associated Press)
Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 5:47 PM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people from a raft last week near Sitka after their vessel began taking on water and they had to abandon ship.

According to a release from the Coast Guard, authorities got a distress signal at 10:40 p.m. on Nov. 10 from the 53-foot fishing vessel Julia breeze. The rescue occurred about 13 miles west of Cape Ommaney, which is south of Sitka at the southern tip of Baranof Island.

Watch-standers in Juneau launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Sitka just five minutes later.

The four fishermen on board the vessel reported that the boat was taking on water and they were abandoning ship, according to the press release. They donned survival suits and boarded a survival raft, which they were later rescued from. The Coast Guard air station Sitka helicopter arrived on the scene about an hour after the distress call came in.

The Coast Guard hoisted all four survivors from the raft and they were taken to Sitka, where they were met by Emergency Medical Services personnel. All four survivors were reported in stable condition, the release stated

“I commend the survivors in this case for having the boating safety equipment they used,” said Nicholas Meyer, Sector Juneau command duty officer. “Their EPIRB confirmed their distress location allowing our aircrew’s timely response, and the survival suits and raft greatly contributed to their safety.”

The proper use of radio and survival gear were credited by Meyer with helping to save the lives of the fishermen, as well as their training.

Copyright 2021 KTUU. All rights reserved.