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KODIAK, Alaska – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Long Island assisted three vessels 80 miles southwest of Valdez Friday evening.
Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a call via VHF-FM radio from the four-man crew of the 60-foot pleasure craft Bella Vida at 4:40 p.m. reporting they were taking on water near the Pleiades Islands in Knight Island Passage southwest of Valdez. The Long Island crew was about two miles from the Bella Vida at the time of the call and launched their small boat with a dewatering pump and a rescue and assist team to respond.
The rescue and assist team arrived on scene at 6 p.m. and assessed the Bella Vida’s situation. The vessel had a slow drip leak and five gallons of water in the bilge. Of more concern to the rescue crew was the state of the engines. One engine was inoperable and the other was operating with a strong vibration. The Bella Vida crew was only able to maintain a speed of 6 mph.
The rescue crew took the Bella Vida under tow with the Long Island at 6:50 p.m. The Long Island and Bella Vida crews arrived in Valdez around 4 a.m. Saturday. The weather was reportedly winds of 10 mph with five-foot seas.
While working with the Bella Vida the crew of the Long Island was notified that nearby the 32-foot pleasure craft Naughty Flier’s propellers had become fouled in the fishing nets of the 30-foot Cordova-based fishing vessel Janell Marie. The Long Island crew again launched their small boat and a rescue and assist team to investigate and conduct a safety boarding of the Naughty Flier.
A Prince William Sound water taxi in the area happened to have a good Samaritan diver on board who cut both shafts of the Naughty Flier free of the Janell Marie’s nets. Both vessels planned to return to Whittier.
The Long Island is one of six 110-foot multi-mission patrol boats currently stationed in Alaska. The Long Island is responsible for search and rescue, law enforcement, national defense and the protection of living marine resources within the coastal waters of South Central, Prince William Sound and part of Southeast Alaska.