An Air Station Kodiak helicopter crew safely hoisted four fishermen and their dog from a liferaft about 200 miles southwest of Kodiak last night after their fishing vessel started taking on water. They were off the 76-foot Ocean Viking, which is homeported in Shoreline, Washington. Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Mooer identified the skipper as John Nes. He and the rest of the crew – and the dog – are in good condition after being brought to Kodiak around midnight.
The Ocean Viking sent a distress call at about 8:30 p.m. saying they were taking on water and were preparing to abandon ship. The message was picked up on VHF Channel 16 by Trident Seafoods in Chignik and then relayed to the Coast Guard. An MH-60 Jayhawk arrived on-scene about two hours later. Conditions at the time included 24 mph wind and six-foot seas.
The fishermen were all in survival suits and secure in their liferaft when the helicopter arrived.
Adam De Rocher, a search and rescue controller with the 17th District command center, praised the crew for doing everything right, from calling for help and activating their EPIRB and abandoning ship before it was too late.
When last spotted, the Ocean Viking was only partially submerged and represents a hazard to navigation. The Coast Guard is broadcasting a notice to mariners to keep a sharp lookout to prevent a collision.
The cause of the sinking is being investigated.
Updated – Crew, Mascot, Safe After Ocean Viking Sinks