Coast Guard rescues three mariners southeast of Cape Hinchinbrook Island

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak

USCG file photo

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, forward-deployed to Cordova, rescued three fishermen 17 miles southeast of Hinchinbrook Island Thursday.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received a distress call via VHF radio from the crew of the Knee Deep, a 28-foot aluminum bow-picker, reporting their vessel was disabled due to engine trouble and their attempt to drop anchor had failed.

The helicopter crew, already flying in the area, diverted to assist the Knee Deep crew at 8:39 p.m.

When on scene, the helicopter crew found the fishermen in survival suits and struggling to anchor their vessel. The helicopter crew deployed their rescue swimmer and safely hoisted all three men into the helicopter.

The rescue crew flew the fishermen to Cordova where they were taken to the Cordova Community Medical Center reportedly showing signs of mild hypothermia but in good condition.

The Coast Guard is plannning an overflight of the last known position of the Knee Deep to check on the vessels current location and condition. Sector Anchorage command center continues to issue a broadcast notice to mariners over marine VHF radio informing all vessels in the vicinity of Hinchinbrook Island to be aware of the adrift vessel.

The vessel is reportedly carrying 50 gallons of gasoline on board and no pollution has been reported.

The weather at the time of the rescue was reported as low visibility with winds of 35 to 45 mph and 15-foot seas.

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