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KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued three people after their fishing vessel grounded in Peril Strait, Wednesday.
The Jayhawk helicopter crew landed on shore and embarked the three individuals. They were taken to Air Station Sitka in good condition.
Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a mayday call via VHF Channel 16 from the 40-foot steel hull commercial fishing vessel EH crew asking for assistance after the vessel ran hard aground and began taking on water at Saook Point, approximately 30 miles north of Sitka. The EH crew reported they were not in danger, but expected to lose communications. They had a life raft ready to use if needed.
Sector Juneau watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast asking if nearby vessels could assist. An Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew was directed to launch.
The Jayhawk helicopter crew reported a 100-foot sheen, and it was reported that the EH has a potential of 120 gallons of diesel fuel on board.
Marine Safety Detachment Sitka personnel are responding to the grounding of the vessel EH. It was reported that diesel discharged from the fishing vessel’s vents, and the fuel tanks are now isolated. The owner is creating a salvage plan for the EH. There are no reports of affected wildlife in the area.
“MSD Sitka will continue to work with the responsible party as they take action,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ken Farah, a marine science technician with MSD Sitka. “We will monitor to ensure adequate progress is being made and their efforts to mitigate pollution is effective.”
The cause of the grounding is under investigation.