An Air Station Kodiak helicopter crew safely hoisted four fishermen and their dog from a liferaft about 200 miles southwest of Kodiak last night after their fishing vessel started taking on water. They were off the 76-foot Ocean Viking, which is homeported in Shoreline, Washington. All crewmen and the dog are in good condition after being brought to Kodiak around midnight.
The Ocean Viking sent a distress call at about 8:30 p.m. saying they were taking on water and were preparing to abandon ship. The message was relayed from Trident Seafoods in Chignik to the Coast Guard, which launched an MH-60 Jayhawk, which arrived about two hours later. Conditions at the scene included 24 mph wind and six-foot seas.
The fishermen were all in survival suits and secure in their liferaft when the helicopter arrived.
Adam De Rocher, a search and rescue controller with the 17th District command center, praised the crew for doing everything right, from calling for help and activating their EPIRB (ee-perb) and abandoning ship before it was too late.
When last spotted, the Ocean Viking was only partially submerged and represents a hazard to navigation. The Coast Guard is broadcasting a notice to mariners to keep a sharp lookout to prevent a collision.
The cause of the sinking is being investigated.
Kodiak halibut is transferred from Lynden Transport to an Air Station Kodiak C130 bound for Kotzebue on June 25. Lynden Transport photo
An Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules took off yesterday (Tuesday) morning, headed for the Arctic Circle. It’s not unusual this time of year as the Coast Guard continues increasing its presence in the far north, but this flight had aboard a little something extra: 13,000 pounds of filleted and vac-packed halibut.
The halibut is bycatch from trawlers delivering to Kodiak, and its shipment to Kotzebue was organized by Sea Share, a Bainbridge Island, Washington, organization that redirects fish that once was tossed overboard to food banks. In 20 years, Executive Director Jim Harmon says Sea Share has donated over 180-million seafood meals around the country. Continue reading
A Kodiak Fish and Game employee went missing on a hike near Saltery Cove Monday, prompting a multi-agency search by the Alaska State Troopers, Kodiak Island Search and Rescue and a Coast Guard helicopter.
According to a trooper report, Matthew Dias, age 35 reportedly left a Fish and Game camp in Ugak Bay for a hike around 1 p.m. By 11 that night, Troopers received a call saying the man failed to return to camp.
The Coast Guard launched a helicopter with four KISAR volunteers aboard Tuesday morning at 6:30, and returned to Kodiak after dropping them off.
Dias was spotted atop a bluff around 10 a.m. Tuesday by searchers in a Fish and Game vessel, which recalled the helicopter. Dias was hoisted aboard and returned to Kodiak without injury.
The Communication Station Kodiak chief’s mess stands with a plaque they had created to memorialize shipmates Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle, retired and Petty Officer 1st Class Jim Hopkins during a memorial held at the unit in Kodiak, Alaska, April 12, 2013. Comments from many shipmates including the current and former commanding officers of the COMMSTA were given during the ceremony honoring the lives and character of both men. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis)
The FV Katmai is clearly identifiable even after 41-years on the bottom. USCG photo
The fishing vessel Katmai was on its way to Kodiak when it was lost and presumed sunk in 1972. USCG photo
In February 1972 a Kodiak-bound fishing boat out of Mobile, Alabama, disappeared without a trace, taking all hands with it. Now, 41 years later, the Coast Guard announced that the fishing vessel Katmai has been found.
It was stumbled across by a Schmidt Ocean Institute survey of the ocean floor in December, while working for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The crew of the research vessel Falkor saw an unknown sonar blip about 200 miles offshore, but had no record of a sunken vessel in that spot. They sent a remote operating vehicle, or ROV, down to investigate, and there they found the Katmai in 9,000 of water in remarkably good shape.
The Coast Guard was notified and initiated a cold-case investigation.
What they determined was the Katmai departed Mobile, where it was constructed by Bender Ship Building, on February 18, 1972, and it never made its destination of Alaska, or even as far as the Panama Canal.
The Katmai had disappeared without a trace and was presumed sunk in the Gulf of Mexico. It was skippered by owner Oskar Joos, and had aboard his wife, their eight-year-old child, and crewman Clinton Hollevoet.
The Coast Guard has contacted the families of the victims and told them what happened to their loved ones.