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Coast Guard responds to two vessels in distress near Ketchikan

Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 25-foot
Response Boat-Small crews assist the
112-foot ferry Ken Eichner 2 to maneuver
the 116-foot ferry Oral Freeman to the
Gravina Island ferry terminal to disembark
passengers Aug. 1, 2013, near Ketchikan, Alaska.
The ferry became disabled and required
assistance to get to the terminal without grounding.
Date: Aug. 02, 2013
US Coast Guard 17th District

KODIAK, Alaska — Coast Guard Station Ketchikan boatcrews responded to two vessels in distress near
Ketchikan Thursday and Friday.

While conducting training in the Tongass Narrows, two Station Ketchikan 25-foot Response Boat-Small crews assisted the  disabled Ketchikan Airport ferry Oral Freeman Thursday afternoon.

The ferry's crew was transiting from the airport terminal on Gravina Island to the terminal on Revillagigedo Island when they became disabled and issued a request for assistance on VHF-FM channel 16.

Upon arrival the RBS crews found the ferry in tow by their sister ship, the 112-foot Ken Eichner 2. The RBS crews tied off to the Oral Freeman to assist the Ken Eichner's crew in maneuvering the vessel to the terminal and preventing them from drifting onto the nearby rocks. The passengers and cars safely disembarked upon reaching the terminal and the tug Jenny B towed the 116-foot ferry safely to its permanent moorings.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a report Thursday evening over VHF-FM channel 16 from the crew of the 58-foot fishing vessel Sarah B stating they were grounded on the southern tip Revillagigedo Island, 8 miles southeast of Ketchikan, with six people aboard.

Sarah B
The watchstanders dispatched the station's 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew to assess the situation. Upon arrival they confirmed the fishermen were no longer in distress. The MLB crew returned to the vessel Friday morning to assist the fishermen with their refloat on the high tide and towed the vessel to Ketchikan. No injuries or pollution have been reported. Damage was sustained to the fishing vessel's rudder and both propellers.

"We are here to ensure the safety of the boating public and mariners in Ketchikan," said Senior Chief Kevinn Smith, officer-in-charge Coast Guard Station Ketchikan."The crew conducts a lot of training and sometimes work long hours. That paid off yesterday when we responded to these two cases and ensured the safety of the passengers on the ferry and the fishermen on the seiner."

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