The MH-60T Jayhawk Medium-Range Recovery Helicopter aircrew retrieved the individual and the two dogs from Freshwater Bay shore and safely transported them to emergency medical services (EMS) personnel awaiting in Juneau.
At 4:48 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center watchstanders overheard a mayday call from a mariner, who stated that his vessel was going down in the vicinity of Freshwater Bay. The individual confirmed that he and his two dogs were the only ones aboard the vessel before transmission ceased. Coast Guard personnel from Station Juneau, Air Station Sitka and the Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Douglas Denman launched to respond to the incident.
Several vessels in the area heard the transmission and provided their antennae height and latitude and longitude coordinates to the Coast Guard crews, which were used to help refine a search area.
“This demonstrates the importance of coordination and communication between our Coast Guard crews and the local Alaskan vessels who were able to assist us in locating and rescuing the mariner,” said Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Trevor Layman, Sector Juneau Command Center. “The mariner was well prepared for an emergency and utilized a flare to direct us to his specific location. All these factors allowed us to do our job in an efficient manner to bring the man and his dogs safely home.”
The Bailey Bay, a 33-foot fiberglass fishing vessel, was located by the crew of the Cutter Douglas Denman, who arrived on scene and found it submerged. The Douglas Denman launched a small boat crew to inspect the wreckage and reported that the vessel was producing a small sheen.
The vessel reportedly has less than 75 gallons of diesel fuel onboard and is currently sunk in 30 feet of water with minimal sheening. The vessel owner plans to conduct salvage operations.
The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.
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