Coast guard assists two vessels in distress, tows both to Valdez

A Coast Guard boat crew from Station Valdez assists mariners with a 28-foot pleasure craft taking on water after they struck a rock near Snug Cove Corner, Alaska, July 5, 2019. There was no report of injuries among the five adults and two children aboard the pleasure craft and the station boat crew safely towed their vessel to Valdez. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eugenia Bakunova.

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Coast Guard boat crews responded to two vessels in distress after one boat had been disabled for over a day and the other vessel was taking on water, Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska reports two crews from Valdez safely towed both vessels back to Valdez with no reported injuries.

According to a statement from the Coast Guard, the first report came in Thursday. The operator of a 16-to-18 foot pleasure craft reported engine problems near Hinchinbrook Island, but crews lost communication with the operator before a location was confirmed.

After an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was issued, a good samaritan vessel found the pleasure craft in distress, and confirmed the boat's location with the Coast Guard and attempted to help out.

"The area where they were disabled is extremely hard to get cell phone service or radio reception," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Forest Reimann, boatswain's mate and officer of the day at Station Valdez. "When we went out to find them we had no radio, we couldn't get any radio calls out to sector or any cell phone service."

Taking into account the lack of reception where the vessel was disabled and after there was no response to the Marine Assistance Request Broadcast, the station boat crew launched Friday and conducted the tow.

That same day, another report came in from an operator of a second vessel reporting their boat has struck a rock, and it was taking on water near Snug Cove Corner. The operator of the 28-foot pleasure craft reported there were no injuries to the five adults and two children who were aboard and that the bilge pumps were able to keep up with a small leak through the hull.

Once a Coast Guard crew arrived on scene they transferred everyone from the pleasure craft onto their boat and towed the distressed vessel back to Valdez.

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