Sunday, July 11, 2010

Four rescued after longliner burns off Kodiak

Here's good news from the U.S. Coast Guard:

ANCHORAGE — Coast Guard rescue crews responding to an emergency position-indicating radio beacon rescued four fishermen after their Kodiak-based 52-foot longline fishing vessel Nakat was engulfed in flames today five miles off of Sitkinak Island and 80 miles southwest of Kodiak.

Capt. Joe Macinko and Andrew Macinko, both of Kodiak, Wyatt Adams of Anchorage and David Merriman of Shelton, Wash., were hoisted by the aircrew and taken to Kodiak in good condition.

The 17th District Command Center received the automated emergency alert from the Nakat at 8:29 a.m. and immediately launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and a HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Kodiak.

The Coast Guard aircraft arrived on scene at 10:20 a.m. and found the Nakat on fire. The Hercules crew quickly located a life raft more than two miles away from the burning vessel and and the Jayhawk crew safely hoisted the four crewmen with no injuries reported.

"The use of the EPIRB was instrumental to having been able to rescue the fishermen," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Ernst, Sector Anchorage Command Center watchstander. "It appears the crew had no time to make a mayday call and without the EPIRB we may have never known that they were in trouble and in need of rescuing."

The cause of the fire is not known at this time and under investigation.

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