Coast Guard Assists Vessel Aground in Alitak Bay

Monday, August 11, 2003
A Coast Guard helicopter crew assisted the crew of a vessel that was taking on water after it ran aground in Alitak Bay, about 60 miles southeast of Kodiak. The crew of the 86-ft. fishing tender Chichagof made a radio distress call at about 5:30 a.m. reporting the accident. The Coast Guard communications center in Kodiak issued an urgent marine assistance broadcast asking mariners in the area to assist. Two Good Samaritan fishing vessels responded to the call. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and crew, with two dewatering pumps on board, departed Kodiak at about 6 a.m. Low-lying, thick fog hampered the helicopter crew locating the Chichagof when they arrived in Alitak Bay but was able to locate the stricken vessel within minutes. The crew lowered the pumps to the vessel and remained on scene until the crew successfully had the pumps running. The tender Ermine was alongside the Chichagof assisting the three-person crew. The Chichagof was on the beach and not in danger of sinking when the helicopter crew departed scene at about 9 a.m. The helicopter crew reported a small, but noticeable sheen in the water. The Marine Safety Detachment in Kodiak is investigating the accident and will work with the owner on a salvage plan for the Chichagof.
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