Fishing vessel takes on water near Adak

The United States Coast Guard said the Alaska Juris, a 229 foot fishing vessel, was reported to be taking on water this afternoon in the Aleutians. The Coast Guard reports 46 people in survival suits abandoned ship in three life rafts. As of 4 p.m., the Coast Guard was on the way to the ship which was 174 miles from Adak.

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U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell conducts a medevac in 2013. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell conducts a medevac in 2013. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)

The ship is owned by the Fishing Company of Alaska, which is based in Seattle. Another FCA vessel, the Alaska Ranger, sank in 2008 killing five people.

A second Good Samaritan vessel has arrived to help rescue 46 people who abandoned a fishing boat in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

The names of the two Good Samaritan ships are the Spar Canis and the Vienna Express.

The crew of the 220-foot Alaska Juris donned survival suits and got into three rafts after the fishing vessel started taking on water Tuesday morning about 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor

There have been no reported injuries to the 46 crew members, and the Coast Guard will investigate.

Update: 11:30 A.M. 07/27/2016

Contributed by Laura Kraegel, KUCB – Unalaska

46 crew-members were rescued Tuesday night after their fishing vessel started sinking in the Aleutians. And now, officials are working on a rescue plan for the abandoned trawler.

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The Alaska Juris began taking on water yesterday afternoon near Kiska Island, nearly 700 miles west of Dutch Harbor. Crew-members donned survival suits, sent a distress signal, and jumped ship for three life rafts.

“These individuals — all 46 people — are actually extremely lucky,” Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said.

Rios said the U.S. Coast Guard received the distress call and coordinated the response from Kodiak. Three Good Samaritan vessels joined the rescue effort, along with a Coast Guard cutter, two C-130 airplanes, and two helicopters.

“While they were taking the people off the life rafts and putting them on the Good Samaritan vessels, we also had a total of four aircraft in the air, just making sure nothing went wrong,” Rios said.

With all crew-members safe and on their way to Adak, Rios said the Coast Guard is now focusing on what to do about the Alaska Juris — still floating in the same area of the Bering Sea.

He said a C-130 search crew will fly over the abandoned vessel Wednesday and assess the situation.

“They’re going to fly over the vessel’s last known position,” Rios said. “They’re going to try to determine if there’s any kind of pollution. And then, also, what the salvage plan would be, if possible.”

There’s no word yet on where the ship will be taken, according to officials with the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Detachment Unit in Dutch Harbor. It’ll depend on whether the vessel can be repaired — and how its owner wants to proceed.

The trawler is owned by The Fishing Company of Alaska. Another FCA ship [the Alaska Ranger] sank in 2008 and killed five people, while the National Transportation Safety Board determined the company failed to maintain a third vessel [the Alaska Spirit] when it caught fire in 1995.

The Coast Guard is now investigating the current incident on the Alaska Juris. Officials say there were calm seas and limited visibility when crewmembers were rescued.