Good Samaritans rescue 18 on Alaska tour boat

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(JUNEAU, Alaska) — Coast Guard Sector Juneau, along with multiple good Samaritan vessels, rescued 18 people from the 35-foot whale-watching motor vessel Big Red in Favorite Channel near Juneau on Sunday afternoon.

All 16 passengers and two crewmembers were recovered and embarked onto motor vessel St. Herman, with the help of recreational vessel See You, and transported to Allen Marine Dock to await Coast Guard and emergency medical personnel. There was one knee injury reported.

Watch standers from Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a call from a crewmember of Big Red reporting they were taking on water in Favorite Channel. Watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting any vessels in the area to assist.

"Personal floatation devices only work when you wear them, and mariners are reminded to ensure all personnel aboard are wearing or have quick access to a life vest,” said Lt. Jennifer Ferreira, Sector Juneau command duty officer. “In this case, the crew of the Big Red took swift and decisive actions to ensure life vests were handed to all passengers after the vessel began taking on water.”

Weather on scene was reported as 17-mph winds, 4-foot seas and light rain.

By Professional Mariner Staff