SEATTLE — Coast Guard personnel rescued three fishermen from a life raft after their fishing vessel sank 38-miles west of La Push, Monday.
A 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Quillayute River in La Push retrieved the fisherman and safely transported them to station.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a mayday call from the crew of a 38-foot fishing vessel Norn stating that they were taking on water at 3:11 a.m. Shortly followed by a signal from an emergency position-indicating radio beacon registered to the vessel.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles and the MLB crew launched in response, and while en route, communication with the fisherman was lost.
The fishermen were donning their survival gear and attempting to get in their life raft at the time of the communication loss.
The aircrew located the fisherman in their life raft around 5:10 a.m., but due to the weather was unable to lower their rescue swimmer and aided the MLB crew to the fishermen’s location.
“I must commend the outstanding collaboration between both Coast Guard crews, as well as the fisherman for having and using multiple means of emergency communication and proper survival tools, ” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Brazier, Joint Harbor Operations Center Supervisor at Sector Puget Sound. “The preparedness of the fishing vessel crew was instrumental in ensuring their own safety until our crews were able to rescue them.”
All fishermen should be prepared for these types of emergency situations, especially those participating in the coming dungeness crab fishing season as the winter crabbing season is extraordinarily dangerous.
No injuries were reported.
Weather on scene was reportedly 38 F air temperature and 48 F water temperature, with upwards of 40 mph winds and 14 ft. seas, rain and poor visibility.