Good Samaritans and Coast Guard rescue four from damaged vessel in Prince William Sound

17th Coast Guard District News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, forward-deployed to Cordova, and a good Samaritan vessel crew assisted four people aboard the 26-foot pleasure craft Mary Kay after it reportedly hit a rock and started taking on water south of Knight Island Tuesday.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage Command Center watchstanders received a broken and almost unreadable mayday call at 5:27 p.m. and requested assistance from any mariner, who could understand the call for help, to relay the information to the Coast Guard.  The good Samaritan crew aboard the fishing vessel Panama Jack responded by relaying the call from Maynard Shively, a Wasilla resident, stating his boat the Mary Kay was taking on water in Montague Strait south of Knight Island with four people aboard.

Watchstanders immediately directed the launch of the helicopter, while the Panama Jack crew responded to the area finding the Mary Kay beached on Knight Island with the four people from the vessel safely on land.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 6:30 p.m. and  lowered a rescue swimmer and dewatering pump to the Mary Kay crew.

The pump was used to remove water from the vessel allowing it to be safely towed to Whittier by the crew of the Panama Jack.  The helicopter crew retrieved the rescue swimmer and airlifted a man and a child from the Mary Kay, flying them to Whittier with no medical issues reported.  The remaining Mary Kay crew safely arrived in Whittier at 2:49 a.m. Wednesday.

“We are grateful for the good Samaritans who often put aside their own needs to help respond to a request for assistance,” said Capt. Jason Fosdick, Sector Anchorage commander.  “The selfless service of these good Samaritans helps the Coast Guard keep the waters of Alaska safe.”

Crews of good Samaritan vessels are often the first to arrive on scene and can be critical in saving lives, especially in Alaska with its vast coastline, cold water and adverse weather conditions.  The Coast Guard encourages all mariners to aid others in distress if they can safely respond.

No injuries or pollution were reported during the response to the Mary Kay.

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