Deck Watch: Coast Guard encourages mariners to better prepare for voyages in Southeast Alaska

Coast Guard encourages boaters to better prepare for voayages during winter months

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew safely delivers three rescued hunters to Air Station Sitka, Alaska, Dec. 14, 2011. The Hunters were found safe but stranded when their skiff floated away at Sevenfathom Bay, 20 miles south of Sitka. Several recent cases involving skiffs and small recreational vessels have prompted Coast Guard officials to call more attention to preparedness. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Chris Enoksen.

Lt. Ryan Erickson, chief of incident management at Coast Guard Sector Juneau, makes safety recommendations for mariners operating in Southeast Alaska during the winter from Juneau, Alaska, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Deck Watch is a weekly five minute radio program covering Coast Guard news and operations in Alaska. Click here to listen to the show.

In other news:

Nov. 29 – The Coast Guard conducted a medevac of a 50-year-old man from the 1,000-foot cargo vessel Cosco Long Beach more than 200 miles south of Kodiak Island in the North Pacific Ocean Thursday. The Coast Guard command center in Juneau received a request for the medevac from the vessel’s agent at 11:30 a.m., reporting that the crewman was suffering from symptoms abdominal distress. The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon was consulted and recommended the medevac. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, with an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew for cover, was launched from Air Station Kodiak to respond and hoisted the patient. They arrived safely in Kodiak and transferred the patient to emergency medical services who further transported the patient to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center.

Nov. 30 – The unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and Northland Services is continuing their response to the grounding of the tug Polar Wind and their barge on Ukolnoi Island, 40 miles east of Cold Bay this week. Response crews have been working to remove fuel from the Polar Wind as well as the majority of the cargo containers from the barge. The five-person crew of the Polar Wind was rescued Nov. 13 after the tug ran aground and began taking on water. The crew was reportedly attempting to recover the barge after their towline had parted. Northland Services hired Global Diving and Salvage to coordinate and manage the response, remove the threat of pollution, and salvage the stricken vessels.

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