A Coast Guard aircrew on a training exercise found itself diverted just after noon Friday when Sector Juneau duty watchstanders received a distress signal.
The aircrew, along with a nearby private vessel Alaskan Hunter, aided in the rescue of four from a 66-foot vessel named Cats N Dawgs which had started taking on water before capsizing in Glacier Bay National Park.
“Mariners all over the world, but especially in Alaska, will often drop everything to help out a fellow mariner in need. We saw this today from the Alaskan Hunter,” said Lt. Cmdr. Preston Strobel, command duty office, Sector Juneau command center, in a news release. “This could have been a devastating start to the holiday weekend.”
The MH-60 Jayhawk and aircrew, stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka arrived on scene at 12:59 p.m. just before the 66-foot pleasure craft sank in 150 feet of water, according to Coast Guard. The crew of Alaskan Hunter, which had attempted to render assistance to the sinking vessel and was able to recover all four aboard the Cats N Dawgs without injury and transfer them to shore, where the aircrew picked them up and flew them to Juneau for medical attention. All four were in stable condition with no injuries, according to the Coast Guard.
The cause of the vessel’s sinking is under investigation as the owner works with the Coast Guard and National Park Service to develop a salvage plan, according to the Coast Guard.