Kodiak Coast Guard Station Sends Help 4,000 Miles Away

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The U.S.S. Gonzalez, a guided missile destroyer, lends assistance to the F/V Kelly Ann off the coast of Florida. The fishing boat had been taking on water and Kodiak’s Coast Guard Station was the only listening post to pick up its transmissions over HF radio. Authorities in Florida were notified and the Navy responded. WAVY-TV photo

Jacob Resneck/KMXT

Kodiak’s Coast Guard Communication Station relayed assistance to a vessel taking on water last week. That in itself wasn’t unusual except for the fact that the fishing boat was in the Atlantic. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck reports.

— florida rescue pkg 3:53 "The skipper … In Kodiak, I’m Jacob Resneck."

amb – not working very good

The skipper of the 41-foot Kelly Ann had reason to be concerned. More than 100 miles from shore, she was taking on water faster than her bilge pumps could handle. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Phillip Jordinelli was the supervisor on call that evening for Kodiak’s communication station.

— jordinelli1

"it’s not workin’ very good here"

At first the watchstanders assumed the vessels were somewhere near their sector. But their regional accents gave a clue that something was unusual.

— jordinelli2

The watchstanders heard one skipper advise the Kelly Ann’s captain to "call the coastguard" even though he was "trying to get there as quick as he can."

— call the coast guard

At this point Kodiak’s watchstanders attempted contact.

— commsta1

But the vessel didn’t answer.

— jordinelli3

— jordinelli6

So how come the Kodiak station could pick up signals so far away?

— jordinelli4

— jordinelli5

The Navy Times carried a report of the U.S.S. Gonzalez’s assistance to the fishing boat but made no mention that it was two watchstanders in Kodiak, Alaska who had been the only ones to hear the Kelly Ann’s frantic call from more the 4,000 miles away.

I’m Jacob Resneck

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