Coast Guard rescues 7 after vessel sinks in Thorne Bay, Alaska

An inflatable life raft sits in Thorne Bay after a Coast Guard Station Ketchikan Response Boat-Medium boat crew rescued seven people from a sinking vessel in Thorne Bay, Alaska, June 29, 2018. All seven people were reported to be in good condition at the time of the rescue. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Ketchikan.

An inflatable life raft sits in Thorne Bay after a Coast Guard Station Ketchikan Response Boat-Medium boat crew rescued seven people from a sinking vessel in Thorne Bay, Alaska, June 29, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Ketchikan.

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew rescued seven people from a life raft in Thorne Bay, Alaska, Friday, after their 58-foot fishing vessel Mystic Lady ran aground and sank.

A Station Ketchikan RB-M boat crew arrived on scene and took the five adults and two children aboard. The boat crew took them to a Thorne Bay pier in good condition.

Coast Guard watchstanders received a 406 emergency position indicating radio beacon alert and a mayday broadcast via VHF-FM Channel 16 from the master of the Mystic Lady reporting that his vessel struck a rock and was sinking quickly. The master stated that seven people were abandoning ship into a life raft. Coast Guard watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Ketchikan boat crew.

The boat crew arrived on scene to see seven people waving their arms in an inflatable life raft near the entrance of Thorne Bay.

“We were the first to arrive on scene, and I’m thankful that we were able to assist these people as quickly as we could,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Fischer, the small boat coxswain during the case. “With the inflatable life raft that the survivors used, they increased their own chances of survival exponentially until we were able to be on scene and assist.”

The Mystic Lady is reported to have 350 gallons of diesel fuel and 25 gallons of lube oil on board. There were no reports of pollution. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel will conduct an investigation.

Weather on scene at the time of the rescue was 12 mph winds, 2-foot seas, 10 miles visibility, and air temperature of 53 degrees.

The Coast Guard encourages all mariners to have an EPIRB, a working VHF-FM radio, life jackets, an inflatable life raft and extra supplies in case of an emergency.

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