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USCG, Troopers Assist Sinking Vessel at Vitskari Rocks in Southeast

Petty Officer 2nd Class Derrick Depriest, a damage controlman on board the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick, operates a P-6 pump to combat flooding in the forward living quarters of a tug that ran aground on the Vitskari Rocks, near Sitka. Image-USCG

Petty Officer 2nd Class Derrick Depriest, a damage controlman on board the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick, operates a P-6 pump to combat flooding in the forward living quarters of a tug that ran aground on the Vitskari Rocks, near Sitka. Image-USCG

A smallboat crew, dispatched from the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormack, and troopers responded to Vitskari Rocks near Sitka on Saturday to assist the vessel 18 Eagles after it had run aground at that location on Saturday, the USCG reported.

Coast Guard Sector-Juneau picked up an alert issued on VHF channel 16 by the vessel, reporting that they had grounded and were taking on water. Sector Juneau immediately directed the cutter to launch a smallboat crew to assist.

The responders, utilizing a P-6 de-watering pump, pumped the water from the flooding forward living quarters of the 42-foot Nordic Tug-built vessel. Following the successful de-watering, the Alaska State Troopers towed the 18 Eagles to Sitka.

“Thankfully the tug crew had a radio on board and were able to ask for help,” said Lt. j.g. Collin McClelland, a Sector Juneau command duty officer. “Working with the Troopers we were able to get them safely back to shore.”