Coast Guard, Good Samaritans respond to vessel in distress near Port Moller Saturday

Jul 24, 2017

The F/V Cachalot was taking on water, according to the Coast Guard, and the ship's master needed a medevac on account of a hand wound. The vessel was escorted to safe harbor at Peter Pan in Port Moller.

KDLG: A salmon tender on its way out of Bristol Bay began taking on water Saturday afternoon near Port Moller.

Chief Petty Officer Shawn Eggert said the fishing vessel Kona Kai relayed a mayday from the 76-foot Cachalot that they were taking on water with four souls onboard.

"The Kona Kai started heading towards the scene to render any kind of assistance they could provide," said Eggert. "While that was happening, District 17 Command Center directed an Air Station Kodiak C-130 plane as well as an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to the scene."

Eggert did not know what had caused the vessel to take on water Saturday.

Winds were reported out of the northwest with seas around seven feet.

According to the Coast Guard, the ship’s master had wounded his hand during the ordeal and needed to be medevaced.

"He was taken to King Salmon so he could eventually be transferred to a higher level of medical care," Eggert said. "Meanwhile, the fishing vessel Sandra Five escorted the Cachalot, whose crew was able to keep up with the water that was coming aboard with their own bilge pump. The Coast Guard kept in contact with that crew throughout that entire case."

Under escort from Good Samaritans and the Coast Guard assets from Kodiak, the Cachalot made it to the Peter Pan Seafoods plant at Port Moller to wait on further repairs.

"This is an excellent example of how the Coast Guard and the Alaska maritime community work together to conduct these sorts of rescues. Through working with those fishing vessels that were nearby, we were able to not only ensure that the members of his crew were safe and able to get back to a safe harbor, but we were also able to get their ships master, the injured crewman, off of that boat and get him to a higher level of medical care," said Eggert.