Coast Guard responds to grounded vessel on Hinchinbrook Island

Coast Guard District 17 NewsANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Coast Guard Station Valdez small boat crew assisted a grounded vessel on Hinchinbrook Island Monday night.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage Command Center watchstanders received a call from the Vessel Traffic Service Valdez at 7:27 p.m. Sunday stating two men and their 22-foot pleasure craft Hat Trick were stranded on a gravel beach due to the weather and tides. The boaters, Steven Oswald and Nick Springer, reported no damage to their vessel and planned to stay in a cabin until the Hat Trick could be refloated on the high tide Monday afternoon.

Upon notification, the watchstanders issued a marine assistance request broadcast via VHF-FM radio and maintained communications with the Hat Trick crew via cell phone.

At 11:36 a.m. Monday, Station Valdez launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew to assist the mariners in refloating their vessel during the afternoon high tide. A good Samaritan vessel and crew also responded to the MARB.

After refloating, weather prevented the Hat Trick and crew from returning to Valdez. The Coast Guard response boat crew escorted the vessel and the men 38 miles to Cordova.

“We encourage every mariner to be prepared,” said Petty Officer 1st Class David Duren, Station Valdez executive petty officer. “That includes not only making sure you have the right provisions, but that you have planned for the weather, have a means of communication and have left a float plan with a friend or family member. We are thankful that there were cell towers within reach, that there was shelter available and most importantly, that both mariners made it back safely.”

No pollution was reported as a result of the grounding. Weather on Monday evening during the escort was reported at light snow, winds at six mph and an air temperature of about 35 degrees.

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