Coast Guard rescues five Anchorage residents 85 miles north of Kodiak

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak

USCG file photo

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued five Anchorage residents from the sinking 60-foot Kodiak-based pleasure craft Nordic Mistress 85 miles north of Kodiak Sunday.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received a mayday call via VHF marine radio channel 16 from the crew of the Nordic Mistress reporting they were sinking and preparing to abandon ship. Sector Anchorage ordered the launch of the helicopter crew at 11:50 a.m. and diverted a Kodiak-based HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew to search for the crew of the Nordic Mistress.

The rescue crew arrived on scene at 12:35 p.m. finding the vessel partially submerged, and all five survivors in survival suites in a life raft surrounded by debris in the water. The helicopter crew safely hoisted all five survivors of the Nordic Mistress from the life raft and flew them to Kodiak.

“The ability of the persons aboard being able to put on survival suites and enter a life raft could have been the difference between life and death in this situation,” said Steven Garcia, Sector Anchorage search and rescue controller. “By using the on board VHF marine radio to call for help and by properly using their safety gear, the five people took the necessary steps to ensure their safety and to help the Coast Guard quickly come to their rescue.”

An unknown amount of fuel was on board the Nordic Mistress, however, no pollution has been reported.

The weather at the time of the rescue was reported as winds of 15 mph with six-foot seas.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage will be investigating the cause of the incident.

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