Coast Guard saves fishing vessel from sinking

    USCG cutter John McCormick courtesy of USCG Sector Juneau.

    Valdez, Alaska (KINY) - U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau rescued the Elise Marie about 160 nautical miles south of Valdez after the vessel became disabled and started taking on water.

    A C-130 Hercules airplane, a helicopter, and the cutter John McCormick contributed to the rescue.

    An Air Station Kodiak Hercules aircrew established communications with the Elise Marie while an Air Station Sitka MH-60 helicopter crew was underway to deliver a dewatering pump. The helicopter lowered down the pump to the Elise Marie and the boat's crew was able to use it to keep up with the flooding while they waited for help. 

    "When we arrived on the scene, the vessel captain had already prepared his vessel for the delivery of the dewatering pump, which greatly reduced our time in a hover over his vessel and allowed for the expedient delivery of the pump," said Lt. Justin Neal, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot on the case. 

    The crew of Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick arrived on scene the next morning at about 1030 hours, and she towed the Elise Marie toward the port of Yakutat. The Yakutat Police Department took over the tow near shore and the vessel arrived safely in Yakutat at 2330 hours Thursday.

    "This successful case highlighted the importance of mariner preparedness," said Lt. Joseph Sullivan-Springhetti, commanding officer of the cutter John McCormick. "The master has good communication equipment and survival gear on board, which allowed us to find them quickly . . . We were also really fortunate to have the support of the Yakutat Police Department, who met us late in the evening and helped bring the vessel into the pier safely."

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