The crews of the 36-foot good Samaritan fishing vessel Miss Jana and the 50-foot good Samaritan fishing vessel Equinox rescued three persons out of the water in the vicinity of Valdez Arm after their 36-foot landing craft Belltech 5 began taking on water and sank, Wednesday night.
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a mayday call on VHF radio channel 16 from the crew of the Belltech 5 and issued an urgent marine information broadcast. The crew of the Miss Jana responded to the scene, rescuing the three men from the water.
Shortly after embarking the men, the crew of the Miss Jana reported engine problems and transferred the men to the nearby fishing vessel Equinox. The Equinox took the Miss Jana in tow.
While in transit to Valdez, the Equinox was met by a Coast Guard 45-foot response boat-medium from Station Valdez who embarked the three men and transported them into Valdez to awaiting emergency medical services.
“The Coast Guard appreciates the vigilance and assistance of Alaska’s professional mariners,” said Jimmy Belcher, Sector Anchorage command center operations unit controller. “With the help of the crew from the fishing vessels Miss Jana and Equinox, these three men are now safe on land and will be able to go home to their families.”
The Belltech 5 is reported as sunk in 1,200 feet of water. No pollution has been reported at this time. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez is investigating potential pollution threats from the vessel, as well as the cause of the marine casualty.
Weather on scene at the time of the incident was reported as 3-foot seas, 7 mph winds and snow.