The Coast Guard Blotter is a summary of events compiled by the staff of Coast Guard Public Affairs Kodiak and is provided as a public service.
• Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a report that the fishing vessel Tradition snapped its drive shaft and was adrift 35 miles south of Cape Suckling in the Gulf of Alaska. The vessel was not in distress apart from needing assistance returning to port. Commercial services from Cordova Harbor and Prince William Sound were unable to respond. The Coast Guard cutter Mustang was diverted but recalled once the good Samaritan Lady Helen arrived. The Lady Helen and crew secured the Tradition and towed it to Cordova.
• Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a report of an overdue 20-foot aluminum Ryder pleasure craft Isabelle Nichole with three people onboard. The vessel departed Whittier Aug. 6 and should have returned the same day. The reporting source last heard from the vessel via a text message at 9 p.m. saying the subject vessel was having engine problems and might be out of fuel. An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew confirmed the vessel was anchored at the north end of Knight Island Passage in Prince William Sound approximately 45 miles southeast of Whittier, out of fuel but not in distress. The Coast Guard Auxiliary Whittier flotilla crew launched to assist and safely towed the vessel into Whittier.
• Sector Juneau watchstanders received an uncorrelated distress broadcast near Sitka Sound. Sector Juneau issued an urgent marine information broadcast with negative results. An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched and conducted searches near Sitka Sound and Eastern Channel areas with negative results. The case was suspended.
• Sector Juneau watchstanders received an agency assist request from the Juneau Police Department regarding a person in the water at Riverbend on the Mendenhall River. The Juneau Police Department requested forward-looking infrared radar and spotlight capability from a Coast Guard helicopter to assist search efforts. Two fire department boats were on scene conducting searches. Air Station Sitka launched an MH-60 helicopter to assist and conducted a total of six shoreline searches of the river with negative results. The case was suspended.
• A Coast Guard Station Valdez 25-foot Response Boat-Small crew rescued two children and two adult hikers stranded near Gold Creek four miles west of Valdez. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a call at 5:15 a.m. from Valdez Fire Department personnel relaying a message that two children, ages 6 and 7, and two adults, ages 21 and 32, had been stranded overnight due to weather and could potentially be experiencing hypothermia. The watchstanders directed the launch of the RB-S crew at 5:32 a.m. to assist the four hikers. The rescue crew arrived on scene about five minutes after launching, safely retrieved the two children first and then picked up the two adults. The RB-S crew arrived back in Valdez at 5:50 a.m.
• As part of Operation Arctic Shield 2011, the Coast Guard conducted a towing exercise offshore of the Delong Mountain Terminal and Red Dog Mine in Kotzebue Sound. The joint exercise was designed to integrate Coast Guard, Alaska National Guard and industry resources, test the delivery and use of the emergency towing system in Arctic conditions, and familiarize crews with the ETS and its operation.
Sector Juneau received a report via channel 16 from a 25-foot whaler with three people onboard stating their engine died and they were running on the kicker engine. Sector Juneau watchstanders issued a maritime assistance request broadcast and the fishing vessel Tsiu responded to assist and safely towed vessel to Sitka.
A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued two men from the 47-foot pleasure craft Jessie B after the vessel struck a rock in McHenry Inlet, 54 miles northwest of Ketchikan Thursday. Sector Juneau watchstanders received notification via a phone call at about 5:30 a.m. that the Jessie B was on the rocks. A 66-year-old man and one other crewmember were cold, wet and possibly injured onboard the vessel. The watchstanders directed the launch of the helicopter. The Jayhawk crew located the vessel about 19 miles north of Thorne Bay just south of McHenry Inlet. The helicopter crew hoisted two men from the Jessie B before it sank. The men were safely transferred to Thorne Bay, where friends met them. No injuries were reported. The Jessie B’s crew reported they were able to shut off the fuel valves before the vessel sank. The helicopter crew reported a light sheen near the vessel. The crew reported 380 gallons of diesel fuel are onboard the Jessie B. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel will investigate the cause of the sinking.