5 saved from sinking vessel near Naked Island

A Coast Guard boat crew teamed up with Good Samaritan to rescue three adults and two teenagers on Oct. 30 from a 32-foot personal craft sinking near Naked Island in Prince William Sound.

The Coast Guard’s Sector Anchorage was responding to a mobile phone call at 6 am from one of the five people, saying they swam to shore after their boat began sinking. Sector Anchorage issued an urgent marine information broadcast to vessels in the area to render assistance, and the crew of the 33-foot vessel Sweet Pea responded, bringing all five people aboard.  There were no reports of injuries.

A Coast Guard Station Valdez response boat then transferred the five from the Sweet Pea and took them safely to Whittier.

“We were able to find them because they had a dry cell phone with GPS tracking that aided in pinpointing their location, said Jimmy Belcher, search and rescue controller for Sector Anchorage. “Having a reliable means of communicating distress on the water is critical, especially in this case, since there was a potential for hypothermia.”

The 32-foot vessel is submerged with the bow above the water line, and submerged.

Weather at the time of the rescue was 10-knot winds with two-foot seas and a water temperature of 48 degrees.