A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew and four good Samaritan crews responded to the sinking of the fishing vessel Exito after it began taking on water 14 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Tuesday evening.
Three of the vessel’s five crewmembers were located by the good Samaritan crew of the Afognac Strait. The crewmembers were brought on board the vessel and are being transferred to Dutch Harbor.
The Jayhawk aircrew and good Samaritan crews on the commercial fishing vessels Commitment, Blue North and Northern Lead continue to search for the remaining two crewmembers of the Exito.
The crewmembers brought on board the Afognak Strait reported that one of the remaining crewmembers had put on immersion suit and was last seen preparing to abandon ship.
Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a phone call at 9:38 p.m., Tuesday, from the owner of the Exito reporting that the vessel was taking on water and the crew was preparing to abandon ship. Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders diverted Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and requested the launch of the Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk.
“In Alaska’s vast waterways, the civil/military partnerships the Coast Guard shares with Good Samaritan crews makes rescues like this possible,” Lt. Joey Schlosser, a 17th District command duty officer. “As we continue to search for the two missing crewmembers, we appreciate the assistance of the additional vessels still searching in conjunction with Coast Guard assets, especially the fishing vessel Afognak Strait for executing the rescue and transportation of the rescued mariners.”
The cause of the vessel taking on water is under investigation. Weather on scene is 8-foot seas and 25-35 mph winds.