A Coast Guard crew rescued two Sitka-based commercial fishermen from a sinking boat near the Fairweather fishing grounds early this morning (Tue 5-17-16).

Westin Chavez and Nick Middleton were hauled out of the water by a rescue swimmer and helicopter, despite dicey weather conditions, and transported back to town in good condition, Coast Guard Commander Pete Melnick says.

He says the two called for help around 2 AM, when they couldn’t steer the 47-foot F/V Rosalyn because it was taking on water. The Fairweather Fishing grounds are about 115 nautical miles northwest of Sitka.

A Coast Guard H-60 helicopter from Air Station Sitka arrived on-scene approximately 40 minutes later, dropping a rescue swimmer and raft in the water. The swimmer assisted the crew of the Rosalyn into the raft, and they were hoisted one-by-one into the helicopter from there.

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