U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Five from Sinking Fishing Boat

File image courtesy USCG Station Ketchikan

Published Jul 16, 2019 4:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard and a good samaritan vessel rescued five fishermen after their vessel sank near Ketchikan, Alaska. 

At 1055 hours, Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a distress call over VHF channel 16 from an operator of the fishing vessel Daffnie. The crew reported that the vessel had capsized and sunk, and all five people who were aboard had abandoned ship into a skiff. The survivors had one handheld radio and one survival suit, and they were holding onto their seine net.

A 45-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan and an Alaska State Trooper boat crew launched in response. An Alaska State Wildlife trooper arrived shortly after noon and confirmed the location of the skiff. The USCG boat crew and good samaritans aboard the fishing vessel Lovie Joann arrived about ten minutes later.

The master of the Daffnie stayed on scene aboard the skiff to retrieve the net with the assistance of the crew of the Lovie Joann. The USCG crew transferred the other four people to the response boat, recovered a life raft and an EPIRB and returned the survivors to Ketchikan.

The Daffnie sank in about 500 feet of water with a maximum of about 400 gallons of diesel fuel aboard. The Coast Guard crew reported a sheen visible while on scene; any pollution and potential salvage response will depend upon the results of an investigation by Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan.