VIDEO: Man grounds ship after taking on water near Sitka, rescued by Coast Guard
The captain of a 33-foot recreational fishing trawler intentionally ran his boat aground near Strait Island after it began taking on water near Port Protection southeast of Sitka on Saturday afternoon.
According to a release from the U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska, Sector Juneau Coast Guard watchstanders received a distress call over VHF radio from the man aboard the fishing trawler Onyx around 2:40 p.m. Saturday.
The man reported that his boat was taking on water, and after activating a emergency position-indicating radiobeacon or EPIRB and putting on a survival suit, he was planning to beach the boat on Strait Island to prevent sinking.
A helicopter was launched from Air Station Sitka, and Coast Guard Cutters Anthony Petit and Anacapa were called to the area.
The man's red meteor flare and strobe light were spotted on Strait Island by the helicopter crew, which hoisted the man from the island's rocky shoreline.
He was uninjured.
Coast Guard officials credit the man's preparedness and response, quickly donning a survival suit, reporting his position and plans and signaling with a flare and strobe light, for the successful rescue.