The U.S. Coast Guard says five fishermen were rescued from an island south of Kodiak early Thursday morning after their 58-foot-long fishing vessel struck a rock and started taking on water.
According to Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley, the crew of the Kodiak Isle contacted watchstanders just after midnight Thursday. They then donned survival suits and abandoned ship in a life raft that drifted ashore on Sitkinak Island, as the Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast and sent an MH-60 Jawhawk helicopter to the area.
“The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 2 a.m., spotted a flare from the fishermen, and safely hoisted the five men who were transferred to Kodiak with no reported injuries,” Mosley wrote.
Coast Guardsmen praised the Kodiak Isle crew’s preparedness, as well as the specific steps they took to assist their rescue.
“The fishermen took the proper steps to help ensure their safety during this emergency situation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Brady, a Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstander. “They immediately alerted us that they had an emergency and needed help. They then put on survival suits and entered their life raft with flares and an emergency location beacon, which allowed the helicopter crew to quickly locate them.”
The Kodiak Isle was still afloat as of 2:30 a.m. when the helicopter departed the scene, but another flyover will take place Thursday to locate the vessel and assess potential safety concerns. The vessel was reportedly carrying about 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
A nearby weather buoy reported winds of 10 to 20 mph and 10-foot seas at the time. An investigation into the incident’s cause is under way.
Contact Chris Klint