Coast Guard, good Samaritans aid fishing vessel in distress

A man whose fishing vessel began taking on water southeast of Port Protection in Southeast Alaska on Tuesday, Aug. 11, got help from the Coast Guard and three good Samaritan vessels.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kukui monitored a towing evolution involving the 29-foot fishing vessel Clara as it was safely towed by the good Samaritan vessel Eric to Port protection for repairs.

Coast guard Sector Juneau has received a call about 1:50 a.m. saying that the vessel was aground and taking on water. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted the Cutter Kukui crew to assist. The Coast Guard also directed the launch of an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to assist.

Upon arrival at the scene in the vicinity of Hole in the Wall the helicopter crew lowered two dewatering pumps and a rescue swimmer to assist in dewatering. Two good Samaritans arriving in a skiff also assisted with dewatering and vessel repairs. Then a third good Samaritan aboard the fishing vessel Eric towed the Clara to Port Protection, where it was safely moored.

Lt. j.g. Jonatan Orthman, an Air Station Sitka scheduler, said the swift actions and preparedness of the good Samaritans greatly assisted in decreasing overall risk and the safe recovery of the Clara and her crew and towing to port.

Winds at the time were 17 mph, with three-foot seas, 10 miles visibility and air temperature of 49 degrees.