Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The U.S. Coast Guard says it rescued four crewman today from a sinking longliner three miles south of Montague Island.
A Coast Guard helicopter from Cordova picked up the four from a life raft. They were identified as Kenai residents Thomas Tomrdle, 61, and son Thomas Tomrdle, 29; James Hielala, 70, of Sterling; and Jeremy Sullivan, 34, of Whittier.
The Coast Guard received a mayday call at 9:45 a.m. reporting the 47-foot fishing vessel Cape Spencer was sinking and the crew had donned immersion suits and abandoned ship into the raft.
The helicopter, already in the air for training, arrived on scene at 10:18 a.m. and safely hoisted all four crewmembers. They were delivered in good condition to the Seward airport about 75 minutes later, the Coast Guard said.
"They called the Coast Guard immediately, they had their survival suits on and the life raft inflated and everyone got into it," said Cmdr. Shawn Tripp, the helicopter pilot. "These guys did everything right to be rescued successfully."
The good Samaritan vessel Tia Rose picked up the Cape Spencer's empty life raft and a Zodiac that was drifting in the area.
The Cape Spencer, a Juneau-based longliner, sank completely, the Coast Guard said.