Coast Guard rescues 2 near Cape Chiniak, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter

Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued two mariners Sunday after their vessel began taking on water in the vicinity of Cape Chiniak.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew hoisted both survivors at 9:11 a.m. and transported them in stable condition to awaiting emergency medical services at Air Station Kodiak. They were then transferred to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center for further medical assessment.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received notification at 8:00 a.m. Sunday that the 64-foot commercial fishing vessel Alitak was taking on water with two people aboard. Watchstanders instructed the vessel to activate their emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and coordinated the launch of the Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Kodiak.

The aircrew arrived on scene at 8:50 a.m. and located the distressed vessel 200 yards from shore. Both mariners were wearing immersion suits and went in the water before being recovered by a rescue swimmer.

“This case highlights the importance of safety equipment,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Samantha Smith, a watchstander at the Sector Anchorage command center. “This could have had a much darker outcome if these two had not donned immersion suits and activated the vessel’s EPIRB.”

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast notifying vessels in the area of the adrift vessel.

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