JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard is crediting emergency equipment for the successful rescue of four fishermen who ditched their boat after it started taking on water off the coast of southeast Alaska.
The Coast Guard said the crew aboard the vessel Julia Breeze started making distress calls around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday after their 52-foot boat started sinking.
The crew eventually abandoned ship and waited for rescue aboard a raft.
The Coast Guard said thanks to the help of an emergency beacon, a helicopter was able to find the crew and hoist them to safety only about an hour after the initial distress call.
"Their EPIRB confirmed their distress location allowing our aircrew’s timely response, and the survival suits and raft greatly contributed to their safety," Nicholas Meyer, a Coast Guard command duty officer, said in a statement.
All four fishermen were airlifted to a Coast Guard air station, where they received medical attention and were said to be in stable condition.
It’s unknown if a storm system in the Northern Pacific played a role in the incident.
A Coast Guard spokesperson said seas were around 12 feet, and winds were reported to be around 20 knots at the time of the rescue.
The United States Coast Guard is still looking into what caused the boat to sink.