SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


USCG Busy In Southeast Alaska


July 21, 2016
Thursday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The United States Coast Guard was busy this week in Southeast Alaska from responding to a fishing vessel that was taking on water near Ketchikan to saving a man suffering from heart problems near Sitka.

Sunday, the Coast Guard Station Ketchikan boatcrew assisted the 38-foot fishing vessel Serenity after it began taking on water near the ferry terminal in Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan boatcrew dewatered the Serenity until the vessel was safely moored and a temporary patch was outfitted at the breach in it's hull. The Serenity was scheduled to be towed Monday by a salvage company.

Sector Juneau watchstanders received a request for assistance from the Serenity’s captain stating that the vessel was taking on water at approximately 50 gallons every 10 minutes. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of the boatcrew.

The Ketchikan boatcrew arrived on scene Sunday and reported the vessel spaces were flooded with several hundred gallons of water. The crew began dewatering operations and pumps managed to keep the vessel afloat.

“Our boatcrews train on a variety of equipment so they are ready to assist mariners during emergency situations,” said Lt. Joseph Reitmeyer, Sector Juneau command duty officer. “We’re glad we were able to promptly assist these mariners before the situation became any worse.”

And on Tuesday, Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew medevaced a man from a charter vessel in Snipe Bay south of Sitka.

"During the summer months there is increased activity on the water, and our crews stand watch around the clock," said Petty Officer 1st Class Geno Kludt, Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstander. "Our crews train year round for moments like these, in the hopes of giving those in need a second opportunity to rejoin their families."

The Air Station Sitka helicopter crew hoisted the man and transported him to Sitka where he was met by awaiting emergency medical services personnel.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a medevac request from the captain aboard the Sapphire Blue for a 69-year-old man reportedly suffering heart problems. The duty flight surgeon was consulted and recommended the medevac.

The weather on scene at the time of the hoist on Tuesday near Sitka was reported as 10 mph winds, 6-foot seas and 2 miles visibility.

Weather on scene at the time of the incident Sunday in Ketchikan was reported as calm seas, clear with 12 mph winds.



Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


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