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Coast Guard, Good Samaritans save 3 fishermen near Heceta Island, Alaska

Date: Dec. 14, 2012 District 17 Public Affairs Detachment Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Coast Guard responders and a good Samaritan fishing vessel crew saved three fishermen after their vessel reportedly hit a rock and sank southwest of Heceta Island, Thursday night.

The good Samaritan crew, aboard the 32-foot fishing vessel High Pockets, rescued the three fishermen from a life raft, and safely transported them to Klowak with no reported injuries.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a distress call on VHF marine radio channel 16 from the crew of the 42-foot troller Equity, reporting that they had hit a rock and were sinking.  The fishermen stated that they were donning survival suits, abandoning ship into their life raft and activating their electronic position indicating radio beacon. The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew.

The crew of the High Pockets responded to the call for help, with the assistance of the Jayhawk crew they were able to quickly find and safely recover the three fishermen.

“For the second time in two days, good Samaritans have been instrumental in helping the Coast Guard come to the aid of boaters in distress,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Roughton, a watchstander at Sector Juneau.  “In both cases, the willingness of good Samaritans to respond, and the fishermen’s quick  use of survival equipment such as survival suits, a life raft, marine radios, flares and an electronic position indicating radio beacon, was essential in a quick response and successful rescue."

The Equity was reportedly carrying 450 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of the incident.  There have been no reports of pollution.

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