Coast Guard responds to capsized vessel near Valdez, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
VALDEZ, Alaska — The Coast Guard responded to four mariners aboard the capsized 40-foot fishing vessel Auriga near Valdez, Monday.

The mariners climbed aboard the vessel’s skiff and were rescued by nearby good Samaritan fishing vessel Cornelia Marie and taken to Port Valdez.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a report that the crew of the Auriga, homeported in Juneau, was fishing in the vicinity of Eaglek Bay when a storm approached from the southeast. The crew ceased fishing operations and prepared for the storm but a large wave reportedly caused the Auriga to capsize.

The Auriga remains capsized and partially submerged in the vicinity of Unakwik Inlet. The vessel has a fuel capacity of 200 gallons and was carrying approximately 18,000 pounds of fish at the time of the capsizing.

“As of Tuesday morning, Auriga’s owner contracted commercial response services out of Cordova to assist with the fuel removal and salvage of the vessel,” said Lt. Ben Bauman, public affairs officer at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez. “We are coordinating with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and other federal and state agencies to oversee salvage of the vessel and ensure the safety and protection of the marine environment.”

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation. No injuries were reported.

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