SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Coast Guard and Good Samaritans Save 42
from Bering Sea, Four Dead, One Missing


March 24, 2008

The Coast Guard and fishing vessel Alaska Warrior have recovered 46 of 47 crewmembers from the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger 120 miles west of Dutch Harbor. Four crewmembers are reported deceased and one missing.

"Saving 42 people in Bering Sea in the winter is an incredible accomplishment," said Commander Todd Trimpert, Chief Incident Management 17th Coast Guard District and experienced Alaska rescue pilot, "we were very fortunate to have the Alaska Warrior in the area."

Crews from an H-60 Jayhawk helicopter from St. Paul, H-65 Dolphin helicopter deployed aboard CGC Munro, C-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Kodiak and CGC Munro from Kodiak rescued 20 crewmembers in 10-foot seas and 25-knot winds seas while the fishing vessel Alaska Warrior rescued 22.

Coast Guard Cutter Munro remained on scene searching for the one missing individual from the Fishing Vessel Alaska Ranger.  The Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from St. Paul searched until dark Sunday and recommenced the search at first light Monday morning.
The fishing vessel Alaska Warrior arrived Sunday evening in Dutch Harbor with twenty-two survivors and three deceased from the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger.  Twenty survivors and one deceased from the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger were on the Coast Guard Cutter Munro.
"This is one of the largest search and rescues cases in our recent history with 42 survivors saved from the frigid waters of Alaska (10 foot seas, 25 knots of wind with periods of winds of 35 knots, and sea temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees and air temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees) and included gallant efforts by Coast Guard crews on scene, including a Coast Guard rescue swimmer remaining in a raft for hours so as to allow more room in the helicopter for survivors suffering from hypothermia to reach critical care on board Coast Guard Cutter Munro," said Captain Mike Inman, Chief of Response for the Coast Guard 17th District in Juneau, Alaska.

"When we got on scene there was a spread, at least a mile long, of 13 survivors in gumby suits with strobe lights," said Aviation Survival Technician 2nd Class O'Brien Hollow, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, "I went down without disconnecting from the helicopter and picked them up one at a time."

Four fishermen died and one remains missing, including reports that one man may have sustained life threatening injuries during the rescue effort. "A thorough review of this case will be conducted and our sympathies are with all the family members involved in this dramatic incident," said Captain Inman.
Release of the names of Alaska Ranger crewmembers is being conducted by the owner of the vessel, Alaska Fish Company located in Seattle.

The Alaska Ranger has been confirmed sunk. The names of the deceased are not being released pending next of kin notification.



Source of News:

United States Coast Guard


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska