Five Missing After Crab Boat Sinks in Gulf of Alaska

File image via social media

Published Jan 1, 2020 6:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Tuesday night, the U.S. Coast Guard launched a search for five fishermen in the water after their boat sank near Sutwik Island, Alaska.

The Scandies Rose, a 1978-built crab fishing vessel based in Dutch Harbor, sank at about 2200 hours on Tuesday with seven crew members aboard. The vessel's last known position was about 170 miles southwest of Air Station Kodiak, near Chignik. 

Watchstanders at Air Station Kodiak received a mayday call from the Scandies Rose over high frequency radio at about 2200 hours Tuesday and relayed the distress call to the command center for search and rescue coordination. The station launched an MH-60 helicopter and an HC-130 search aircraft. The helicopter crew rescued two survivors from a life raft. A second life raft was found nearby, and it was empty. The cutter Mellon was diverted from the Bering Sea and is expected to arrive on scene Wednesday evening. 

"We are conducting an extensive search in a 300-square mile area to locate the five missing persons from the Scandies Rose," said Lt. Wade Arnold, command duty officer at 17th District command center. 

The weather on scene is challenging, with winds in excess of 40 miles an hour, 15-20 foot seas and visibility of about one mile - common conditions for the Gulf of Alaska in January.