home Top Stories Coast Guard rescues fishing boat in violent Alaska waters

Coast Guard rescues fishing boat in violent Alaska waters

CBS News – 06/11/2015

The crew of an Alaska fishing boat is safe after a dramatic rescue at sea. Coast Guard video shows the four men plunging into the six-foot seas from the sinking boat near Alaska’s Lituya Bay, CBS News’ Elaine Quijano reports.

As the ship’s crew dealt with Alaska’s extreme environment, something on their fishing boat had gone severely wrong. That’s when the ship’s captain issued a mayday call that their boat was taking on water.

The Coast Guard arrived on the scene in a Jayhawk helicopter early Wednesday morning as the 73-foot fishing boat, the Kupreanof, was quickly sinking into the water with four men still on board.

Dangling dangerously off the side of the boat, half-submerged at that point, the ship’s captain voiced his concern about one member of the crew in particular danger.

“I got one man that’s pretty old and can’t swim,” he said.

Facing rough seas and frigid waters, one by one the men balanced along the edge of the sinking ship, then plunged into the water desperately trying to make their way to the life raft.

Dressed in immersion suits designed to protect them from hypothermia, the crew waited as the rescue team used baskets to lift each of them safely into the helicopter. Their boat was completely under water.

The Coast Guard is investigating what caused the ship to sink and said the actions and quick thinking of the fishermen was essential to their rescue. Putting on their immersion suits and finding a way to safely get off that boat is likely why they’re alive today.