Coast Guard rescues five crewmembers from tender southeast of Cordova

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued five crewmembers from the 55-foot fishing tender St. Joseph 52 miles southeast of Cordova Friday night.

The Coast Guard Communications Station in Kodiak received a mayday call from the tender, relayed by the fishing vessel Heidi Linea, at 9:20 p.m. reporting that they had experienced a loss of steering in 20-foot seas. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Cordova to respond.

“The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 11 p.m. and after discussing the situation with the master it was decided it was unsafe to the leave the crew aboard in 20-foot seas,” said Petty Officer Jacques Castro, a search and rescue controller with Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “All five crewmembers were safely hoisted and taken to Cordova.”

The St. Joseph remains adrift. Plans are being made for an overflight of the area Saturday to relocate the vessel. A broadcast notice to mariners is being issued to alert mariners in the area of the possible hazard to navigation posed by the drifting vessel.

Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez are working with the master of the tender to assess the situation and determine if the vessel can be saved.

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