Coast Guard: Good Samaritans 'made a huge difference' in rescue of 3 fishermen, dog in Alaska
The crew made an emergency distress call, and the Coast Guard launched a rescue helicopter and a plane from their base 418 miles away. Officials also broadcast a plea for help to any boats near the Privateer.
KODIAK, Alaska – The U.S. Coast Guard airlifted three men and a dog to safety Monday as high winds and rough seas crushed their ship against rocks on the shore of an island in Alaska.
Officials said winds quickly came up on the trio of fishermen. The 6-foot seas combined with 60-mph wind gusts overpowered the 45-foot fishing boat called Privateer. The wind and waves slammed the ship into the rocks on Esther Island.
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According to the Coast Guard, steering was rendered useless once the boat ran aground. That was when the crew made an emergency distress call about 11:55 a.m. local time. The Coast Guard launched a rescue helicopter and a plane from their base 418 miles away and broadcast a plea for help to any boats near the Privateer.
The air temperature at the time was 33, barely above freezing, officials said. It felt more like 12 degrees because the tropical storm-force wind gusts.
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Officials said that just as the fishermen were ready to abandon the boat to take refuge on the rocks, two good Samaritan boats and a professional sea tow vessel came along and tried to pry the Privateer off the rocks but were unsuccessful.
"Thankfully, the mariners were able to radio the Coast Guard and had the appropriate survival gear in case they needed to abandon their vessel," said Coast Guard Petty Officer Dante Corradi, in a statement. "It’s incredible these three men and the dog made it out okay, and the fact that multiple good Samaritans were ready to assist made a huge difference in the outcome of this rescue."
The men and dog were taken to medical facilities in Anchorage to be evaluated, according to the Coast Guard.
FOX Weather has reported on other rescues in Alaska that have been conducted by the Coast Guard this year. A man and two dogs were rescued by the Coast Guard after a boat sank in Freshwater Bay in October. The most recent was a 63-year-old hunter that was found near Klawock at the end of November.