Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue 5 from sunken vessel near Naked Island, Alaska

45 ValdezANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Coast Guard boatcrew and a good Samaritan rescued three adults and two teenagers from a 32-foot personal craft taking on water in the vicinity of Naked Island Sunday morning.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a mobile phone call at 6 a.m. from one of the five people reporting they had abandoned ship and swam to shore after their boat began to sink. Sector Anchorage issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to vessels in the area to render assistance. The 33-foot good Samaritan vessel Sweet Pea responded to the call and brought the five people safely aboard. There were no reports of injuries.

A Coast Guard Station Valdez 45-foot Response Boat — Medium boatcrew transferred the five from the Sweet Pea and took them safely to Whittier.

“We were able to find them because they had a dry cell phone with GPS tracking that aided in pinpointing their location,” said Jimmy Belcher, search and rescue controller, Sector Anchorage. “Having a reliable means of communicating distress on the water is critical, especially in this case, since there was a potential for hypothermia.”

The 32-foot vessel is currently submerged with the bow above the water line and anchored.

Weather on scene at the time of the rescue was 10-knot winds with two-foot seas and a water temperature of 48 degrees.

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