The Coast Guard’s Most Extreme Rescue – Alaska Ranger

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June 22, 2008


In a feature appropriately titled “Worst Case Scenario” Popular Mechanics brings us “The Coast Guard’s Most Extreme Rescue – Alaska Ranger“. They write:

“Mayday, mayday, mayday. This is the Alaska Ranger. 5, 3, 5, 3 North, 1, 6, 9, 5, 8 West… We are flooding, taking on water in our rudder room.”

Survival Suit GearIt was 2:52 am on March 23, Easter morning, when Coast Guard Station Kodiak picked up the distress call from a point almost 800 miles west, in Alaska’s frigid Bering Sea.

“Roger. Good copy on position… Request to know number onboard, over.”

After a static-filled pause, the answer came through loud and clear: “Number of persons: 47.”

Capt. Peter Jacobsen was in the crowded wheelhouse of the 189-ft. fishing vessel. When the trawler’s emergency alarm had first sounded about an hour before, crew members descended below decks to see water rising fast in the ship’s stern compartments. They had pulled out a pump, but the effort soon looked futile. Now Jacobsen, 65, a veteran captain who had been fishing in the Bering Sea for 23 years, was making calls to his ship’s sister vessels, repeating the coordinates of the Ranger’s position 120 miles west of the Aleutian Island port of Dutch Harbor.

Be sure to visit our previous Alaska Ranger Coverage including commentary by Kennebec Captain titled “Sinking of the Alaska Ranger – Fishing Master vs Captain“. Then read Popular Mechanics full article which can be found HERE.



MayDay Call:

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