46 rescued from sinking boat in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska, July 27 (UPI) — A crew of 46 people abandoned a fishing boat and were rescued by two nearby vessels in the Bering Sea.

The U.S. Coast Guard received a radio beacon alert from the 220-foot Alaska Juris around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and contacted the crew to see if they needed help about 700 miles off the Alaskan coast and 150 miles northwest of Adak Island.

They confirmed their ship was taking on water. They donned survival suits, abandoned the ship and entered three rafts.

Watchstanders issued an urgent broadcast to vessels in the area. Spar Canis recovered 28 people from two rafts and the Vienna Express rescued another 18 from a third raft. Seafisher and Ocean Peace also responded. They were transported to Adak and no injuries were reported.

Coast Guard Cutter Midgett and an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane had been dispatched to the vessel’s location. Two Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters were launched to Adak as a staging and refueling area.

“The crew of the Alaska Juris did the right thing by calling for help, putting on their immersion suits and safely abandoning the ship,” said Lt. Greg Isbell, District 17 command duty officer. “Emergencies can occur at any time in Alaska’s vast and extreme environment, and the good Samaritans’ willingness to respond to the UMIB was paramount to getting the Alaska Juris crew to safety.”

Preliminary information suggests mechanical problems in the ship’s engine room, Lt. Joseph Schlosser of the Coast Guard District 17 command center in Juneau said to Alaska Dispatch News.

Seas in the area were calm with limited visibility, the Coast Guard said.

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