Monday, January 17, 2005

Alaska Crab Boat Sinks

A crab boat carrying six sailors sank in the Bering Sea on Saturday, killing at least one, and the Coast Guard was searching for three aboard who were still missing.
The Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers said sailors were recovered: One survived, one died and the condition of the third sailor, who remained aboard a trooper vessel, was not immediately known, said a Coast Guard spokeswoman. The Coast Guard received an "emergency position-indicating radio beacon" Saturday morning from The Big Valley, a 92-foot crab boat out of Kodiak, Alaska.
A patrol vessel sent to the location of the beacon found "a debris field" where the crab boat sank, A Alaska State Trooper said. A Coast Guard helicopter picked up two sailors: one from the water and one from a life raft. The sailor in the water died but the sailor in the raft, Cache Seel of Kodiak, was "doing well" at a St. Paul Island hospital. A third sailor was pulled from the water by the Alaska State trooper vessel. All three sailors recovered wore survival suits, indicating the crew knew the vessel was in distress and had time to don the bulky suits. The Coast Guard planned to keep searching all night for the other three sailors. The vessel was 70 miles west of St. Paul Island, which is one of the Pribilof Islands and about 750 miles west of Anchorage. Seas were listed at 25 feet and winds were more than 40 mph in the area, Gonzales said. The commercial crab fishing season in Kodiak and the Bering Sea opened at noon Saturday. The Big Valley was seeking snow crab.
Troopers said a second search is seeking a sailor washed overboard The Sultan, a 134-foot fishing vessel out of Seattle.
May you have Fair Winds, and Following Seas, and long may your Big Jib draw!

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