Coast Guard rescues two from sinking vessel near Sitka

The fishing boat was taking on water with dead engines.

Coast Guard aircrews from Air Station Sitka rescued a pair of fishermen from a sinking vessel on Monday evening.

Watchstanders received a distress call at approximately 8 p.m. that the 40-foot fishing vessel Glory required assistance, according to a Coast Guard news release.

The Sector Juneau Command Center launched an MH-60 Jayhawk to the assist the vessel, located in Islet Passage, roughly nine miles south of Sitka, according to the news release.

The crew of the helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer to the vessel’s deck. Video from the helicopter shows the rescue swimmer talking with the crew, advising the helicopter that the vessel’s engine was nonfunctional, the crew could not stop the water, and that they were abandoning ship.

Both crew were hoisted via rescue basket to the helicopter with incident.

“This successful case highlighted the importance of mariner preparedness,” said responding pilot Lt. Cmdr. Scott Woodcock in the news release. “The biggest challenge during this rescue was the severe winds, however, the fishermen were well prepared with good communication equipment and survival gear.”

The weather on-scene was air temperature 41 degrees, 5-foot seas and winds gusting to 55 mph, according to the news release.

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or