UPDATED: Captain of flipped ship jumps into frigid water to save crew
A ship capsized Monday, flinging four people overboard into 47-degree water near Raspberry Island.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, several good Samaritans of a nearby boat, a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk crew, and the captain of the submerged ship, all assisted in the Monday afternoon rescue.
The ship in question, a fishing vessel called the Grayling, reportedly began sinking after it overturned in the Kupreanof Strait. A nearby vessel called the Calista Marie, observed the capsized Grayling and rushed to help, calling the incident in via radio at 3:25 p.m. on Monday, the Coast Guard said.
“It’s about 55 miles away so we just made our way there as quickly as we possibly could basically through some of the highest points of Kodiak Island to get there,” said Lt. Kevin Riley, one of two pilots on the Jayhawk crew.
The crew of the Calista Marie helped rescue one of the crewmen of the Grayling, and a skiff driver rescued another. Then, according to Coast Guard, the captain of the Grayling, who has not yet been identified, jumped into the frigid waters to rescue one of his remaining crew members.
"That fisherman didn't hesitate. It was incredible to see him jump into 47-degree water to save his crew," Lt. Kevin Riley, an Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk pilot, said in a release. "It is a testament to how tough those fishermen are and how far they will go to help their fellow Alaskans."
Lt. Riley says the water was very dangerous but thankfully the captain was wearing a life jacket before jumping in the water, “Five foot swell, you had a seiner skiff bouncing around, you had a capsized boat with nets and rigging in the water floating around and as you can see in the video the individual that jumped in for the rescue was between the seiner skiff and the capsized hull at one point pretty close,” said Lt. Riley.
In the video above, which was provided by the USCG, you can see the captain of the Grayling, clad in a life jacket, pulling one of his own crewmates to safety, who did not have a jacket of his own.
"The captain of the Grayling was able to pull one of his crewmen safely onto the Grayling's purse seiner skiff and initiate CPR," the USCG said in a prepared statement. "The MH-60 Jayhawk crew then transported him to awaiting EMS at Kodiak Municipal Airport."