ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued two men from a grounded fishing vessel near Sitka Monday.
A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka landed on the beach at Low Island in Sitka Sound near the 50-foot fishing vessel Mirage and the two crewmembers were able to safely disembark their vessel and walk to the waiting helicopter for transport to Sitka.
Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a report from the Sitka Police Department that the Mirage, with two people aboard, was aground on the island approximately 10 miles west of Sitka. Sector command center personnel requested assistance from a Sitka Mountain Rescue smallboat crew to respond and confirm the situation. The SMR smallboat crew launched, but was unable to reach the Mirage due to the low tide prompting the watchstanders to direct the launch of the Sitka Jayhawk crew.
No injuries to the crew or damage to the vessel were reported. The vessel is reported to have approximately 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel aboard. The crew of the Mirage will attempt to refloat the vessel on the morning high tide Tuesday. The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the situation and is investigating the cause of the grounding.
“This case demonstrates the benefits of the Coast Guard’s strong partnerships with local police and search and rescue personnel throughout Alaska,” said Lt. Ryan Erickson, chief of incident management, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “Our crews often work with local responders to effect the most timely and efficient response possible to best serve the people of Alaska.”
A small craft advisory is in effect for Southeast Alaska through Monday night. Weather conditions in the region are forecast as south winds at 29 mph with 13-foot seas and improving in the afternoon. Tuesday crews expect northwest winds at 17 mph with 9-foot seas. The Mirage is a troller homeported out of Haines.