Thursday, August 2, 2012

Five rescued, fishery closed after Sitka sinking

Here's a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

Aug. 2, 2012

Coast Guard investigates fishing vessel sinking northwest of Sitka

JUNEAU — The Coast Guard is investigating the sinking of the fishing vessel Evening Star northwest of Sitka.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau received report at 7:44 a.m. today that the 50-foot Evening Star sank in Slocum Arm 40 miles northwest of Sitka in 300 feet of water with about 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel aboard.

The vessel reportedly capsized while pulling in loaded salmon nets.

The good Samaritan fishing vessel Chikamin rescued all five crewmen from the Evening Star in good condition and took them to Sitka.

"We are working with the owner of the vessel mitigate the pollution on scene and salvage the vessel if possible," said Lt. Ryan Erickson, Sector Juneau incident management division chief. "We thank the Chikamin crew for rescuing these five fishermen and bringing them to safety."

Personnel from Marine Safety Detachment Sitka traveled to the scene aboard an Alaska State Troopers vessel Thursday afternoon.

They observed a sheen in the area, prompting an emergency closure of an active salmon fishery by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

An overflight of the area is being scheduled for Friday morning.

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