Coast Guard responds to fishing vessel in distress; 4 passengers including a dog onboard

Coast Guard responds to fishing vessel in distress
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:38 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Monday, Dec. 12, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Hunter Beaudoin responded to a call of a boat that was in distress.

According to the Beaudoin, a 45-foot fishing vessel ran aground on Esther Island in Prince William Sound. When the Coast Guard arrived on the scene, there was already a tow boat working on securing the vessel. However, in a split moment, the boat separated from the tow boat and started heading right into a set of rocks, sending Beaudoin’s team right into action.

“It was kind of a surreal moment for me when that happened,” Beaudoin said of the towline snapping in two. “Like, it came over the radio, real panicked, and it just hit me in that moment: There’s these boats on scene, there’s this plane over the top of us, but we were the only ones who could do anything for those guys in that moment (with) our helicopter and hoist. So we did, we moved in.”

“We decided the fastest way to do it was to send our rescue swimmer down so he could assess the survivors and see the condition they were in and how well he could pick them up.”

His team began hoisting up each of the passengers on board. Including the dog, there were four passengers on board, taking the Coast Guard by surprise. According to Beaudoin, calls involving dogs are rare, and his team had limited training on what to do in the situation.

“The rescue swimmer just made an improvised (loop) with his strap around the man and the dog,” Beaudoin said. “The dog was mostly in between the two of them so they were just holding on. We were able to get them all off at once less than a minute before the boat hit the rocks.”

All four passengers were transported to Anchorage to seek medical attention.