Mayday: Coast Guard rescues man, 2 dogs from frigid waters of Freshwater Bay, Alaska
The man was later found onshore wearing a survival suit and used a flare to signal rescue crews.
KODIAK, Alaska - The U.S. Coast Guard successfully rescued a man and his two dogs Wednesday after his fishing boat sank in the cold waters of Freshwater Bay, Alaska.
The incident unfolded just before 5 a.m. local time when Coast Guard members heard a mayday call from a man who said his boat was sinking in Freshwater Bay, which is southeast of Hoonah, Alaska.
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Before his emergency radio call was cut off, the man confirmed to the Coast Guard that he and his two dogs were the only ones aboard the sinking vessel.
Coast Guard personnel from Station Juneau, Air Station Sitka and the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Denman began a search for the man and his dogs.
Several other boats in the vicinity also heard the man's call for help and were able to provide coordinates to the Coast Guard to help them better refine the search area.
Three hours later, the man was found onshore wearing a survival suit and used a flare to signal the rescue helicopter.
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"This demonstrates the importance of coordination and communication between our Coast Guard crews and the local Alaskan vessels who were able to assist us in locating and rescuing the mariner," Coast Guard Lt. Junior Grade Trevor Layman, a duty officer in the Sector Juneau Command Center, said in a statement. "The mariner was well prepared for an emergency and utilized a flare to direct us to his specific location. All these factors allowed us to do our job in an efficient manner to bring the man and his dogs safely home."
The crew of the Coast Guard cutter was able to locate the submerged wreckage of the Bailey Bay, and a small boat was launched to inspect the damage.
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It was then found that Bailey Bay was producing a small fuel spill. The boat reportedly carried less than 75 gallons of diesel fuel when it sank in 30 feet of water.
The vessel's owner plans to salvage the ship.
The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.