Coast Guard Rescues Three From Sinking Vessel

SITKA, Alaska – An HH-60J “Jayhawk” helicopter was launched from Air Station Sitka just after 9pm on March 16th to respond to a mayday from the fishing vessel Sea Hawk. The three men onboard the Sea Hawk were traveling through Cross Sound, approximately 50 miles west of Juneau, when the vessel began taking on water. When the men realized that the vessels’ pumps were unable to keep up with the flooding, they turned the boat toward the beach and transmitted a mayday call on VHF channel 16.

Less then two hours after the mayday call was made, a Coast Guard helicopter arrived on-scene to find the Sea Hawk grounded in shallow water approximately 50 yards offshore, and all three crewmembers safe in survival suits on the beach. The helicopter landed on the beach, and Rescue Swimmer Jon Houlberg exited the aircraft to asses the men’s conditions and assist them into the aircraft. All three men were cold, but otherwise unhurt.

Due to worsening weather in Juneau, the aircrew returned to Sitka, where all three men were transferred to local authorities.

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