By Mark Edward Nero, Pacific Maritime Online Magazine – July 29, 2016
Forty-six crewmembers aboard fishing vessel Alaska Juris, who abandoned a sinking ship near Kiska Island, about 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, were rescued July 26 by air crews with Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, along with good Samaritans.
All 46 crewmembers were transferred to good Samaritan vessels Spar Canis and Vienna Express and transported to the Alaska city of Adak.
There were no reports of injuries.
The Coast Guard became aware of the sinking vessel when 17th District watch standers received an electronic position indicating radio beacon alert from Alaska Juris around 11:30 a.m. local time, and contacted the crew directly to confirm they were in distress, donning survival suits and abandoning ship.
Coast Guard Cutter Midgett and an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane were diverted to the vessel’s location, and an urgent marine information broadcast was sent to vessels in the area. Motor vessels Spar Canis, Vienna Express, Seafisher and Ocean Peace diverted to assist.
“The crew of the Alaska Juris did the right thing by calling for help, putting on their immersion suits and safely abandoning the ship,” District 17 Command Duty Officer Lt. Greg Isbell said. “And the good Samaritans’ willingness to respond … was paramount to getting the Alaska Juris crew to safety.”
The cause of the vessel taking on water is under investigation. Weather on scene was reported as calm seas and limited visibility.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is the agency investigating the case. A one-minute, 15-second video of the response to the incident can be seen here.