46 Rescued from Bering Sea After Abandoning Sinking Fishing Vessel

Mike Schuler
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July 27, 2016

A still image from Coast Guard video shows the crew of the Alaska Juris abandoning ship in the Bering Sea, July 26, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard Image

The U.S. Coast Guard along with good samaritan vessels responded  Tuesday to 46 crewmembers aboard a commercial fishing vessel who were forced to abandon ship in the Bering Sea near Kiska Island, approximately 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

All 46 crewmembers were transferred to the merchants ships Spar Canis and Vienna Express to be transported to Adak, Alaska.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it received an EPIRB alert from fishing vessel Alaska Juris around 11:30 a.m. Alaska time and contacted the crew directly to confirm they were in distress, donning survival suits and abandoning ship.

The Coast Guard Cutter Midgett and a HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Kodiak were diverted to the vessel’s location, while MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters were launched to Adak as a staging and refueling area. Watchstanders also issued an urgent marine information broadcast to vessels in the area, diverting the motor vessels Spar Canis, Vienna Express, Seafisher and Ocean Peace to assist.

The quick response led to the rescue of 46 crwemembers without injury.

Weather on scene was reported as calm seas and limited visibility.

Some video of the rescue released by the Coast Guard is below:

The cause of the vessel taking on water is under investigation. 

“The crew of the Alaska Juris did the right thing by calling for help, putting on their immersion suits and safely abandoning the ship,” said Lt. Greg Isbell, District 17 command duty officer. “Emergencies can occur at any time in Alaska’s vast and extreme environment, and the good Samaritans’ willingness to respond to the UMIB was paramount to getting the Alaska Juris crew to safety.”

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is monitoring the case closely.

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