Coast Guard saves sinking fishing vessel near Icy Bay, Alaska

The Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick tows the disabled fishing vessel Elise Marie enroute to Yakutat, Alaska, Oct. 22, 2020, after Elise Marie began taking on water near Icy Bay. A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew delivered a dewatering pump to the fishing vessel the night before, enabling the crew to control flooding while they waited for further assistance from the John McCormick . (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cutter John McCormick)

The Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick tows the disabled fishing vessel Elise Marie enroute to Yakutat, Alaska, Oct. 22, 2020, after Elise Marie began taking on water near Icy Bay.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cutter John McCormick)

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard assisted a fishing vessel taking on water and disabled, six miles south of Icy Bay, Alaska, Wednesday.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew delivered a dewatering pump at about 9 p.m. to the 55-foot fishing vessel Elise Marie that was taking on water. The Elise Marie crew was able to use the pump to keep up with the flooding while they waited for further Coast Guard assistance.

Watchstanders in the Sector Juneau Command Center received initial notification requesting assistance from Elise Marie via InReach device at approximately 7 p.m. Watchstanders directed the launch of multiple assets to assist, including a plane, a helicopter, and Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules airplane crew established communications with Elise Marie while the Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted the pump delivery to the vessel.

“When we arrived on scene, the vessel captain had already prepared his vessel for the delivery of the dewatering pump which greatly reduced our time in a hover over his vessel and allowed for the expedient delivery of the pump to help stop the flooding,” said Lt. Justin Neal, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot on the case. “Ultimately, with the use of the dewatering pump, the captain was able to control the flooding.”

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick arrived on scene Thursday at approximately 10:30 a.m., and took the Elise Marie in tow toward Yakutat.

Yakutat Police Department took over the tow of the Elise Marie near shore and the vessel arrived safely in Yakutat at 11:30 p.m., Thursday.

“This successful case highlighted the importance of mariner preparedness,” said Lt. Joseph Sullivan-Springhetti, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick. “The master has good communication equipment and survival gear onboard, which allowed us to find them quickly, tow them safely, and with confidence.We were also really fortunate to have the support of the Yakutat Police Department, who met us late in the evening and helped bring the vessel in to the pier safely.”

On scene weather for the pump delivery was an air temperature of 30 degrees, 1-2 ft seas, 6 mph winds and clear skies.

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