Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Rousing Rescue by the USCG Auxilary

Thirteen isn't always an unlucky number. Just take the 13 passengers rescued in Alaska moments before their vessel sank in 39-degree water, for example.

Fortunately for those aboard the 40-foot charter vessel, a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary crew happened to be performing routine towing drills approximately 20 miles away. After receiving the call, the crew put the pedal to the metal and arrived at the sinking vessel's side to find the passengers on the bow of the boat with the stern awash.
"We came alongside the stricken vessel and the 11 passengers were pulled aboard to the forward deck of the Auxiliary vessel," [coxswain Shane] Taylor said. "We removed the 11 passengers, then the vessel rolled over on its side within 30 seconds after the last passenger was removed. We backed away momentarily to clear the sinking vessel while the two remaining people on board, the master and his crewmember, climbed the hull as it rolled. We then approached again and nosing up to the overturned vessel, we pulled the two remaining survivors aboard."

"Within a minute of the last survivor boarding our boat, the stricken vessel sank completely," said Taylor. "The sunken vessel's life raft deployed and broke the surface approximately one minute later."

No comments: