Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine
A Call for Help
The Coast Guard received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) notification from the Arctic Rose via telex at 3:35 a.m. on April 2.
Air Station Kodiak launched a C-130 at 4:00 a.m. to begin the search for the missing vessel and continued to try to contact it, without success.
Shortly before the C-130’s arrival on scene at 7:30 a.m., it contacted the
Alaskan Rose via VHF radio. The mate told the C-130 crew that he had not heard a “mayday” from the sister vessel and altered his own vessel’s course to intercept the EPIRB.
As they traveled the 11 miles south to the EPIRB position, the mate continued, unsuccessfully, to try to hail the other vessel on VHF radio.
Approximately one hour after receiving the Coast Guard transmission, the Alaskan Rose entered a debris field and the crew spotted the captain of their sister ship in the water.
The mate donned an immersion suit and swam to the captain. The crew threw a ring buoy to the mate and hoisted him and the captain aboard, where they administered CPR, to no avail.
When his body was recovered, the captain was fully clothed, wearing boots, but his immersion suit was filled with water. The cause of death was later determined to be salt water drowning.
A Desperate Search
For the next 36 hours, the crew of the rescue vessel searched for survivors. Several miles south of the debris field, they came across an inflatable life raft belonging to the vanished fishing boat, but it was empty.
As there was nothing for them to recover on the surface, the Coast Guard conducted two expeditions using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) to collect data for the marine board’s investigation.
Continued in part 3.
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Full article is available at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/summer2010.
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