A U.S. Coast Guard officer injured during a November search and rescue in the Bering Sea died in a Seattle hospital Wednesday morning.
Petty Officer Travis Obendorf was aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche when, on Nov. 11, he and other crewmen went to assist 22 mariners stranded on the disabled fishing boat the Alaska Mist. The boat experienced mechanical trouble and had become stranded near Amak Island in the Aleutians. While transferring passengers, Obendorf was injured recovering a small boat used in the transfer.
He was medevaced to Anchorage and transferred to Seattle on Dec. 6th for further treatment. He died shortly after surgery, surrounded by his family, according to a release by the Coast Guard.
Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy, with the Coast Guard Pacific Area, said Obendorf “was actually an integral part of saving five lives. Five people from the Alaska Mist.”
“Any coastie will tell you, that's what we do, that's our job, but Petty Officer Obendorf, he was a hero,” she added. “He went out there and put his life out on the line.”
The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.