Coast Guard Responding to Partially Sunken Fishing Boat in Prince William Sound

MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter file photo

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard is attempting to rescue three people off the Homer-based 42-foot fishing vessel Ruffian which was reportedly taking on water in the vicinity of Latouche Island in Prince William Sound Tuesday morning.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received a VHF distress relay from the Armin F. Koernig Hatchery that the vessel Ruffian was taking on water while simultaneously, District 17 command center received an EPIRB signal from the Ruffian at 12:44 a.m.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew was launched at 1:45 a.m., however, once on scene weather restricted their visibility and forced them to divert to Cordova before locating the vessel.

Another helicopter crew from Kodiak departed at 9:20 a.m. and the Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island, homeported in Homer, was launched and is expected to arrive about 3 p.m.

The crew of the 110-foot fishing vessel Vanguard responded to an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast put out by the Sector Anchorage command center and are on scene but due to the vessel’s draft are unable to reach the Ruffian.

Since being notified, the Ruffian’s captain intentionally grounded the vessel to prevent it from sinking with 200 gallons of diesel fuel aboard and now sits with its stern submerged.

Weather on scene is 30 knot winds and 3-foot seas. No injuries have been reported.

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