A Coast Guard aircrew rescued four crew members after their fishing vessel sank Nov. 10 about 13 nautical miles west of Cape Ommaney, Alaska.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau headquarters received a distress call over VHF radio channel 16 from the crew of the Homer-based 53-foot fishing vessel Julia Breeze around 10:40 p.m. The crew reported they were taking on water and abandoning ship near Cape Ommaney.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew took off from Air Station Sitka helicopter crew at 10:45 p.m, and arrived on scene about 11:40 p.m.

They spotted a debris field in the water and all four people in a survival raft who were wearing survival suits.

All four survivors were hoisted to the helicopter and flown and transported them to the Sitka air station, where they were met by local emergency medical specialists. All four people were reported to be in stable condition.

"I commend the survivors in this case for having the boating safety equipment they used," said Nicholas Meyer, Sector Juneau command duty officer, in describing the rescue. "Their EPIRB confirmed their distress location allowing our aircrew's timely response, and the survival suits and raft greatly contributed to their safety."

The cause of the incident is under investigation, Coast Guard officials said.

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for more than 30 years and a 25-year field editor for National Fisherman before joining our Commercial Marine editorial staff in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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