On Friday Coast Guard medevaced a man from F/V Araho who had a storage crate fall on him. Four fishermen abandoned the F/V Clyde south of Atka Island on Saturday. Helicopters, C-130s, and CG Cutter Alex Haley all involved in the two cases.
The Coast Guard rescued four fishermen who were forced to abandon their boat on Saturday. It was the second rescue in two days. A Kodiak-based helicopter and cutter medevaced an injured crew member from a different vessel on Friday.
Going in chronological order, an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 airlifted a fisherman approximately 50 miles northeast of St. Paul on Friday.
Public Affairs Specialist Jon-Paul Rios said Anchorage watch standers received a report from Health Force Partners that a crew member on the F/V Araho needed emergency medical help.
A 51-year-old male aboard the F/V Araho suffered a leg injury when he was stacking fishing pans, and unfortunately a storage crate fell on top of him. At that time Coast Guard Station Kodiak decided to launch an MH-60 Jayhawk crew, who arrived on scene. They were able to drop a swimmer down to properly position the man inside of a Stokes litter, which is kind of like a basket that we raise the people up into the helicopters in. And after he did that, was able to stabilize the man, then we brought him into the helicopter and safely transported him to Saint Paul clinic where he was able to receive the higher medical care that he needed.”
In addition to the helo crew, the Air Station also had a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew providing communications cover throughout the rescue.
Then on Saturday four fishing crew members abandon ship northeast of St. Paul. They were rescued in a combined effort of an Air Station Kodiak helicopter, a C-130 and the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley.
“On Saturday, CG 17 District watchstanders received an EPIRB alert–that’s an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon alert—from the F/V Clyde. A lot of times those EPIRBs are registered to the owners. And in this case we were able to make contact with the owner’s wife. The owner’s wife also received a call from the owner stating that they were taking on water after hitting what they thought to be a rock. And all four people that were aboard that vessel decided to abandon ship into a life raft, and two other people went into a Zodiac, which is a small type of safety vessel.
The Coast Guard launched a helocopter to the position of the EPIRB and found the crew.
“So the Dolphin helicopter arrived on scene. Located one of the life rafts and one of the Zodiacs. At that time, they thought the safest way of rescuing them was to wait for them to make it to shore if they weren’t very far off. Once they arrived on shore the helicopter landed, was able to take all four people aboard and then transported to Adak Clinic where they were evaluated with no reported medical concerns.”
Afterwards the C-130 landed in Adak and transported the survivors back to Air Station Kodiak.
According to a Coast Guard press release a number of factors played a role in the crew’s survival. Having a working and registered EPIRB was one. Another was having the quick thinking to abandon ship and get into smaller vessels. The EPIRB gave the Coast Guard the information needed to arrive quickly on scene and the life raft and Zodiac kept the crew safe until help could arrive.