Coast Guard, Good Samaritan rescue 5 from the water near Valdez, Alaska

Working together to prepare for the worstANCHORAGE, Alaska— A Coast Guard Station Valdez boatcrew transported a woman experiencing symptoms of hypothermia after the 27-foot boat she was aboard capsized in the Valdez Narrows, near Valdez, Friday.

A Good Samaritan rescued the woman and four other passengers from the water. The station’s 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew transferred the ailing woman from the Good Samaritan vessel to awaiting emergency personnel in Valdez.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received a mayday call via VHF-FM channel 16 reporting a vessel had capsized and five people were in the water. A Good Samaritan over heard the call and picked up the five people and began transporting them to Valdez. The Good Samaritan notified Sector watchstanders of the 57-year-old woman’s hypothermic symptoms. Watchstanders directed the launch of the station’s RB-M.

“This case emphasizes the importance of carrying a VHF-FM radio while one the water,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Sheean, Sector Anchorage Command Duty Officer. “The distressed mariners were able to call for help before capsizing and a Good Samaritan was able to respond immediately.”

The weather on scene was reported as 40-mph wings and 4-foot seas.

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