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Coast Guard, good Samaritan save fisherman from sinking vessel near Ketchikan (F/V Viewpoint)

Wolf Point Photography
Date: July 29, 2012
District 17 Public Affairs Detachment Kodiak

KODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 47-foot Motor Life Boat and crew rescued a fisherman Sunday morning when his fishing vessel began sinking while under tow to Ketchikan from Gardner Bay.

A 17th Coast Guard District watchstander received a report at 11:37 p.m. Saturday that the fishing vessel Viewpoint was tied to the good Samaritan fishing vessel Ocean Maid in Gardner Bay near Dixon Entrance (Map and was taking on water. The master was reportedly unable to keep up with flooding despite multiple dewatering pumps provided to him by the Ocean Maid crew. The master was only person aboard the Viewpoint.

Station Ketchikan launched a 47-foot MLB and crew just before midnight to assist the vessel in distress. The flooding was under control when the Coast Guard arrived on scene at 1:45 a.m. Sunday. The MLB crew took the Viewpoint in tow for transit to Ketchikan.

While in tow, the Viewpoint began rapidly taking on water and the crew was unable to keep up with the flooding. The Station Ketchikan boatcrew removed the master from the Viewpoint and allowed the fishing vessel to sink. They arrived safely to Ketchikan at about 6:30 a.m. The master of the fishing vessel was taken to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center to have a head injury treated.

“Although the fishing vessel Viewpoint was lost, thanks to our Coast Guard crew and the assistance of a good Samaritan in the area, there was no loss of life,” said Lt. Ryan Erickson of Sector Juneau. “The Coast Guard greatly appreciates the help we receive from our Alaska maritime family.”

An estimated 400 gallons of diesel fuel was aboard the Viewpoint when it sank. Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel will investigate the sinking and determine what salvage can be conducted. The Viewpoint is a 49-foot seiner homeported in Craig.