Five crewmembers were rescued on Friday by the Good Samaritan vessel KONA KAI after the F/V PACIFIC 1 sunk in the Bering Sea. Just before the Seattle based cod fishing boat went down, it was reported to have been listing heavily.
The U.S. Coast Guard watchstanders received notification from the F/V KONA KAI that the 58-foot F/V PACIFIC 1, located about 40 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, had begun taking on water. The KONA KAI lost communication with the Pacific 1, but their last known location was transmitted to officials.
Two Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews were deployed from their forward-operating location in Cold Bay, Alaska. They arrived in time to assist the KONA KAI in locating the inflatable life raft that held all 5 people. While Coast Guard personnel were able to locate the raft, an inflight issue forced them to set a data marker buoy then return to Cold Bay.
The F/V KONA KAI was able to locate the marker set by the Coast Guard and rescue all 5 crewmembers. They were brought to Dutch Harbor and reported to have been in good condition after the ordeal.
“Through the coordinated and diligent efforts of the Coast Guard and the Good Samaritan vessel Kona Kai, we were able to successfully locate and bring home all five people from the sunken vessel,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Kotrba, an operations specialist and supervisor at Communications Detachment Kodiak. “We are extremely thankful for the local assistance in this case. This rescue is a testament to the teamwork it takes to save lives in Alaska, and we are extremely grateful.”
Weather at the scene was reported as 45 degrees, 7-mile visibility, and 10 mph winds. An investigation into the sinking is underway.