Three rescued after landing craft sinks in Alaska

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

(KODIAK, Alaska) — The crews of the good Samaritan fishing vessel Miss Jana and the good Samaritan fishing vessel Equinox rescued three persons out of the water in the vicinity of Valdez Arm after their landing craft Belltech 5 began taking on water and sank, Wednesday night.

Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a mayday call on VHF radio channel 16 from the crew of the 36-foot Belltech 5.

The crew of the 36-foot fishing vessel Miss Jana and the crew of the 50-foot fishing vessel Equinox, operated by the same owner, were traveling together when they heard the Urgent Marine Information Broadcast. The Miss Jana, first on scene, rescued the men from the water and then returned alongside the Equinox. From there, the crew of the Equinox embarked the men for further transport into Valdez. The Miss Jana and Equinox travelled back towards Valdez together.

While in transit to Valdez, the Equinox was met by a Coast Guard 45-foot response boat-medium from Station Valdez who embarked the three men and transported them into Valdez to awaiting emergency medical services.

“The Coast Guard appreciates the vigilance and assistance of Alaska’s professional mariners,” said Jimmy Belcher, Sector Anchorage command center operations unit controller. “With the help of the crew from the fishing vessels Miss Jana and Equinox, these three men are now safe on land and will be able to go home to their families.”

The Belltech 5 is reported as sunk in 1,200 feet of water. No pollution has been reported at this time. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez is investigating potential pollution threats from the vessel, as well as the cause of the marine casualty.

Weather on scene at the time of the incident was reported as 3-foot seas, 7 mph winds and snow.

By Professional Mariner Staff