Office of Public Affairs
Date: March 23, 2008
UPDATE: COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO SINKING VESSEL
JUNEAU, Alaska- The Coast Guard and fishing vessel Alaska Warrior have recovered 46 of 47 crewmembers from the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger 120 miles west of Dutch Harbor. Four crewmembers are reported deceased and one missing.
"Saving 42 people in Bering Sea in the winter is an incredible accomplishment," said Commander Todd Trimpert, Chief Incident Management 17th Coast Guard District and experienced Alaska rescue pilot, "we were very fortunate to have the Alaska Warrior in the area."
Crews from an H-60 Jayhawk helicopter from St. Paul, H-65 Dolphin helicopter deployed aboard CGC Munro, C-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Kodiak and CGC Munro from Kodiak rescued 20 crewmembers in 10-foot seas and 25-knot winds seas while the fishing vessel Alaska Warrior rescued 22.
"When we got on scene there was a spread, at least a mile long, of 13 survivors in gumby suits with strobe lights," said Aviation Survival Technician 2nd Class O'Brien Hollow, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, "I went down without disconnecting from the helicopter and picked them up one at a time."
A second C-130 from Kodiak, the CGC Munro and an H-60 from St. Paul are searching for the missing crewmember. Alaska Ranger crewmembers will be taken to Dutch Harbor.
The Alaska Ranger has been confirmed sunk. The names of the deceased are not being released pending next of kin notification.
Interviews with Coast Guard air and boat crewmembers may be available. Video may also be available today.
Links to available imagery and Mayday call below.