Coast Guard assists fisherman, vessel taking on water near Port Protection, Alaska

Coast Guard Cutter Kukui file photo by Chief Petty Officer David M. Santos

Coast Guard Cutter Kukui file photo by Chief Petty Officer David M. Santos

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard and good Samaritans assisted a man whose fishing vessel was taking on water in the vicinity of Hole in the Wall, approximately five miles southeast of Port Protection, Alaska, Tuesday.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kukui monitored a towing evolution involving the fishing vessel Clara, a 29-foot fishing vessel, as it was safely towed by the good Samaritan fishing vessel Eric to Port Protection for further repairs.

At approximately 1:50 a.m., a vessel contacted Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders to request assistance for the Clara, noting that it was aground and taking on water. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted the Cutter Kukui crew to assist. Watchstanders also directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to assist.

The helicopter aircrew arrived on scene and lowered two dewatering pumps and a rescue swimmer to the fishing vessel to assist in dewatering. Additionally, two good Samaritans arrived via skiff to assist with dewatering and vessel repairs.

A third good Samaritan, aboard the fishing vessel Eric, towed the Clara to Port Protection, where it was safely moored.

“The good Samaritans were instrumental in assisting in the delivery of the pumps and relocation of the rescue swimmer for pick-up,” said Lt.j.g. Jonathan Orthman, an Air Station Sitka scheduler. “Their swift actions and preparedness greatly assisted in decreasing overall risk and the safe recovery of the Clara and her crew and towing to port.”

On-scene weather was 17-mph winds, three-foot seas, 10 miles visibility and an air temperature of 49 degrees.

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