The Coast Guard rescued five fishermen after their vessel took on water and sank 30 miles outside of La Push, Washington, Sunday.
A Coast Guard Station Quillayute River 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew recovered the fishermen from their life raft and brought them back to La Push without medical concerns.
The master of the 65-foot fishing vessel Captain John, called Coast Guard station Quillayute River watchstanders via VHF radio channel 16, stating that they were taking on water and not able to keep up with the flooding.
Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound personnel directed the launch of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles to assist the MLB crew from station Quillayute River and issued an urgent marine information broadcast.
Several good Samaritans arrived on scene with the Captain John crew and remained until more capable assets arrived.
The Dolphin helicopter crew arrived on scene and advised the Captain John crew to abandoned ship. The helicopter rescue swimmer was lowered to the vessel and assisted the fishermen until the arrival of the MLB crew.
“These fishermen acted appropriately in an emergency situation such as this,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Brazier, command duty officer at Sector Puget Sound. “Because they were able to communicate their situation and board an available life raft, these fishermen were able to mitigate the chances of any loss of life.”
The vessel reportedly sank in more than 2,000 feet of water. It was carrying more than 70,000 lbs of Dover Sole on board as well as approximately 800 gallons of fuel. A 200-foot by 200-foot oil sheen has been reported at the location of the sunken vessel.
The cause of the sinking is currently under investigation.
Weather on scene at the time of the incident was reported as 15 mph winds and 2 to 3-foot seas.