The Coast Guard Station Sitka released a video of a dramatic fishing boat rescue captured from a Jayhawk crew last Wednesday in Alaskan waters.
Watchsanders received a dire distress call from Kupreanof, a 73-foot fishing vessel operating due west of Juneau in the waters between the Cross Sound and Yakutat Bay. Taking on water, the 4-man fishing crew deployed the onboard life raft and abandoned ship under the watchful eyes of the Jayhawk crew hovering a few dozen feet above the water.
Once clear of the Kupreanof, responders hoisted all four men from their raft into the helicopter. All four a reported to be in good health.
"As of Oct. 15, 2015, commercial fishing vessel safety exams will be mandatory for vessels operating beyond three nautical miles offshore," says Scott Giard, command duty officer, Sector Juneau. "This case is a perfect example of why exams are crucial for the safety of fishermen."
Weather on scene was 10-mph winds and 7-foot seas. The vessel took just shy of 30 minutes to disappear entirely beneath the waves.
“The crew of the Kupreanof did the right thing by calling for help, putting on their immersion suits and safely abandoning the ship,” said Lt. Ben Neal, a pilot at Air Station Sitka. “Emergencies can occur at any time and having the right safety equipment is critical when operating in Alaska’s extreme environment.”