A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Cordova rescued two fishermen approximately 17 miles southwest of Cordova on the afternoon of June 26, after their fishing vessel became disabled and went adrift.
Coast Guard officials said weather on the scene at that time was reported as six-foot seas, with rain and 17 mph winds.
“Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a request for assistance from the fishermen after their 26-foot fishing vessel became disabled and adrift near Strawberry Channel,” said PA1 Kelly Parker, of the U.S. Coast Guard, on Kodiak Island.
Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted the rescue helicopter crew who were airborne and in the area on a training mission.
Parker said the responding helicopter and crew from Air Station Kodiak are forward deployed to the Forward Operating Location Cordova (also known as Air Support Facility Cordova), at the Mile 13 Airport.
“The Forward Operating Location in Cordova allows for faster responses to emergencies in the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Lindsey Green, a Sector Anchorage watchstander. “Having an aircraft in the area gave us a timely response and we were able to rescue these two fishermen.”
The Coast Guard personnel onboard the Jayhawk helicopter who took part in the rescue are USCG Pilot-in-Command LT Andrew Jarolimek, Copilot LT john Rauschenberger, Flight Mechanic AMT2 Will Jones, Rescue Swimmer AST2 David Burns, and Aircrew AET3 William Froehlich.
The helicopter crew hoisted the fishermen from the F/V Sunrise and transported them to Cordova. Parker said he had not seen any reports citing how the Sunrise had become disabled.
Marine Safety Unit Valdez has issued a notice to mariners of the disabled vessel and continues to monitor the situation as the owner makes arrangements for retrieval.
So far this year, Coast Guard aircrews at Forward Operating Location Cordova have flown on seven rescue missions, all involving medevacs, with three lives saved.