Coast Guard saves man aboard sinking vessel near Kake, Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska
Contact: 17th District Public Affairs
Office: (907) 463-2065
After Hours: (907) 209-8731
17th District online newsroom

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued a man from his fishing vessel that was taking on water northeast of Kake and towed the vessel to safety, Tuesday.

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An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka and the crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa, out of Petersburg, delivered personnel with dewatering pumps to the vessel and helped stop the leak in the hull. The Anacapa crew then towed the vessel to Petersburg.

Watchstanders in the Sector Juneau command center received a call from the friend of a fisherman in Petersburg, reporting that his friend had contacted him via an inReach device and indicated that his 40-foot fishing vessel Neto was taking on water near Eliza Harbor. The friend stated that the fisherman did not have electronics on board, and was experiencing difficulties with his dewatering pump. The friend also thought the fishermen’s boat might be adrift without power.

Sector Juneau watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and requested the launch of the Sitka aircrew and Cutter Anacapa.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene and lowered a rescue swimmer and a pump and began to assist the fisherman with dewatering the vessel. Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa arrived on scene, launched a small boat, and provided a crew member and an additional pump to help remove water from the vessel.

The Coast Guard and the fisherman got the flooding under control and secured the leak. Then the crew of Anacapa took the vessel in tow.

“Luckily, both air and cutter crews were able to arrive on scene before this fisherman ended up in serious trouble,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Birky, aircraft commander for the case. “Having a functioning dewatering pump on board a boat with plenty of fuel can save your boat from sinking in many situations. If a boat loses power and is taking on water, a pump is often the only way to prevent a bad day from becoming much worse. It’s also crucial to have multiple means of communicating, especially a marine radio, so you can call us directly in the case of a maritime emergency.”

The fisherman and vessel were taken to Petersburg. No medical concerns were reported.