Coast Guard, good Samaritans rescue 18 people

When a 35-foot whale-watching motor vessel began taking on water in Favorite Channel near Juneau, the U.S Coast Guard and multiple good Samaritans responded quickly, rescuing 18 people on board.

The 16 passengers and two crewmembers were taken on board the motor vessel St. Herman, with help from the recreational vessel See You, and transported to Allen Marine Dock to await Coast Guard and emergency medical personnel.

One knee injury was reported, Coast Guard officials said.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau was called to action on July 31 by a call from the crew of the Big Red, saying the whale-watching vessel was taking on water. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine broadcast asking any vessels in the area to assist.

“Personal floatation devices only work when you wear them, and mariners are reminded to ensure all personnel aboard are wearing or have quick access to a life vest,” said Lt. Jennifer Ferreira, Sector Juneau command duty officer.

“In this case, the crew of the Big Red took swift and decisive actions to ensure life vests were handed to all passengers after the vessel began taking on water.”

Weather on scene was reported at 17 mile an hour winds, 4 foot seas and light rain, the Coast Guard said.