Three Seattle fishermen were rescued last night after their vessel went aground on Umnak Island.
The crew of the Neptune 1 called the Coast Guard at 11:21 pm, alerting them that their boat had lost propulsion and gone adrift in rough weather. Twenty-five minutes later, the Neptune 1 was on the rocks, and the crew had to swim to shore in their survival suits.
After receiving the mayday call, the Coast Guard launched a helicopter from St. Paul Island to rescue the fishermen. As the helicopter crew traveled down to Umnak, the F/V Alaskan Enterprise also responded to the incident. That vessel was 25 miles away at the time, and it diverted course to shine a light on the Neptune 1 and its crew until the Coast Guard arrived.
According to Petty Officer David Mosley, the Jayhawk helicopter arrived just after 3am and was able to safely transport the three men to Unalaska. He adds that the crews of the Neptune 1 and Alaskan Enterprise took all the right measures to ensure a successful rescue.
“Without the mayday call for help, without the guys on the fishing vessel taking care of themselves by activating their EPIRBs [emergency position-indicating radio beacons] and putting on their survival suits, and without the help of the Alaskan Enterprise crew, this may not have gone so smoothly and these gentlemen may have been in worse shape than they ended up being,” says Mosley.
The 58-foot vessel remains beached on the northwest side of Umnak Island. The vessel was carrying an unknown quantity of fuel, but so far there have been no reports of pollution.