JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - UPDATE, 12:00 p.m: The fishing vessel Destination remains missing today. The U.S. Coast Guard said additional crews were adding in the search Sunday.
“Coastguard Cutter Morgenthau arrived on scene this morning around 10 a.m. and they also have an aviation crew with MH-65 Dolphin helicopter that is able to asset with search patterns as well,” said Public Affairs Specialist Lauren Steenson.
Steenson says none of the six people believed to be on board the Destination have been identified. IN addition to the Coast Guard, good Samaritan boats are assisting in the search along with ground crews using 4-wheelers on the west side of Saint George Island.
“Everyone’s been working together the tribe, the city, the Coast Guard and ground crews and we have the Good Samaritan crab boats out there so everybody’s been working well together,” said Saint George resident Grace Merculies.
The Coast Guard reports the weather on scene as 25-mph winds with light snow, two to four foot seas, air temperature at 21 degrees and a sea temperature of 38 degrees.
UPDATE, 9:08 p.m: Six people remain missing on Seattle-based fishing vessel Destination, the last communication with which was a distress signal from about two miles outside of St. George, Alaska.
A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews are still on the scene searching for the missing boat.
Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau is scheduled to arrive early Sunday morning. Officials say an Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew currently deployed on the cutter will also be deployed to assist.
A U.S. Coast Guard crew which began its response around 10:15 Saturday morning after Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders in the Juneau received an electronic positioning radio beacon alert from the vessel, also Saturday morning.
UPDATE, 6:27 p.m.: Officials say U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, 378-foot high endurance cutter based in Hawaii, is on its way from Dutch Harbor to assist in the search for a missing fishing vessel with six people on it.
Fishing vessel Destination sent out a distress signal Saturday morning, according to a U.S. Coast Guard press release.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson said Saturday evening that the plan was to continue searching for Destination and its occupants, rather than call off the search at dark.
“They’re planning on continuing the search throughout the night,” she said.
At last check, at least one good Samaritan vessel as well as two Jayhawk crews that initially responded were still on scene.
The vessel is based out of Seattle, Steenson said, but had moored in Sand Point, Alaska, in the Aleutians East Borough.
As for what the discovery of the vessel’s emergency position indicating radiobeacon (EPIRB), buoys, a life ring from the fishing vessel and an oil sheen means, Steenson said she “did not want to speculate.”
“The reason for a response this large is usually because, when we reach the location the EPIRB is giving us, it’s with the vessel,” she said. “We’ll at least get some communication to see if it was turned on by accident, or get in contact in order to rescue.
“I can’t assume anything,” she said, “but crews are going to continue to look throughout the night. We’re just hoping for the best.”
ORIGINAL STORY: A U.S. Coast Guard crew comprising multiple units is searching for a fishing vessel near St. George, Alaska.
Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders in the state’s capital received an electronic positioning radio beacon alert from the vessel Saturday morning, and thus launched aircraft crews in response, according to Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson.
A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, which began its response around 10:15 Saturday morning, as well as two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews, which joined early Saturday afternoon, are currently responding to the alert from fishing vessel Destination.
The locator beacon was sent from approximately two miles northwest of St. George, a press release from U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska stated.
Two good Samaritan vessels, fishing vessels Silver Spray and Bering Rose, are assisting with the search. Citizens in St. George have reportedly assembled a search party to patrol the shoreline for any signs of the crew or vessel.
The emergency position indicating radiobeacon, or EPIRB, has been recovered among a debris field containing buoys, a life ring from fishing vessel Destination and an oil sheen.
“We are saturating the area with Coast Guard and good Samaritan assets and hoping for the best,” said Chief Petty Officer Joshua Ryan, Coast Guard 17th District watchstander.
Weather on scene is reported as 30-mph winds, five to eight-foot seas and snowing, according to the Coast Guard release. Air temperature is 20 degrees and sea temperature is 30 degrees.