Ship Explodes 30 Miles off of Alaska

Tuesday, October 22, 2002
The 180-ft. fishing vessel Galaxy exploded and erupted into flames 30 miles southwest of St. Paul Island, Alaska Sunday afternoon forcing 20 of its 26 crewmembers to abandon ship. Six others became stranded on the burning ship before a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted four of them to safety. There is one confirmed dead with five fishermen reported in critical condition and two remained missing as of 9 a.m. HST. Crews aboard the Good Samaritan fishing vessels Blue Pacific, Glacier Bay and Clipper Express assisted in the rescue of 20 Galaxy crewmen. Responding to the scene to help with the search and rescue of the survivors is the Honolulu based Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis. The Jarvis was on patrol in the Bearing Sea acting as a search and rescue platform and to enforce commercial fishing regulations. The Jarvis arrived on location with the survivors at 8 a.m. HST. They are assisting in the search for the two missing crewmembers. Also helping with the search are two Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters, an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, Two Coast Guard, one Air Force and one Air National Guard C-130 Hercules airplanes. The weather on scene is reported to be 30-to-40 knot winds, seas are 10-15 feet with freezing spray, freezing rain and snow. The air temperature is 35 degrees, with a water temperature of 43 degrees. The Galaxy is reported still afloat and on fire.
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