Video: Owner of factory trawler abandoned by crew also owned Alaska Ranger

ANCHORAGE Wednesday 12:10 p.m. UPDATE

A private tugboat is en route to the factory trawler Alaska Juris which took on water Tuesday, forcing 46 crew to don survival suits and abandon ship.

The Coast Guard says the trawler had a problem in the engine room that led to flooding off the Aleutian Islands. The agency plans to conduct a flyover Wednesday to see if the 220-foot vessel is still afloat and determine if any pollution has spilled.

The crew were picked up by good Samaritan vessels and are expected to arrive in Adak Wednesday afternoon.

The tugboat will put a track on the vessel and help the Coast Guard develop a salvage and recovery plan for the trawler, owned by the Fishing Company of Alaska of Renton, Wash., said Coast Guard spokesman Kelly Parker.

A 25-year-old man, Andrew Fotu, died aboard the Alaska Juris on March 1, 2012, according to state troopers. A cable was laying on the deck snapped, tossed Fotu to the deck a few feet away. He died as a result, troopers said.

The Fishing Company of Alaska also owned the Alaska Ranger, a factory trawler that sank in the Bering Sea on March 23, 2008. Five people died in the incident.
Wednesday 11 a.m. UPDATE

Two Good Samaritan vessels, carrying 46 people who abandoned a sinking factory trawler west of Dutch Harbor, are about five to 10 miles away from Adak Island where they will off-load their passengers, according ot the Coast Guard.

The 220-foot fishing vessel Alaska Juris began taking on water near Kiska Island on Tuesday morning.

All 46 crew members donned survival suits, got into life rafts and made it safely onto merchant ships that responded to a marine emergency radio call.

The crew members are currently aboard the Seafisher, a fishing vessel, and the Ocean Peace, a merchant ship, according to Kodiak-based Coast Guard spokeswoman Lauren Steenson.

Update as of 9:45 PM
Forty-six people were rescued after abandoning a sinking fishing vessel near Kiska Island, approximately 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor. The original call from the fishing vessel Alaska Juris came in at approximately 11:30 Tuesday morning. The captain of the ship was contacted, according to the Coast Guard. The vessel’s crew confirmed they were in distress, donning survival suits and were abandoning ship.

All forty-six people were transferred to Good Samaritan vessels Spar Canis and Vienna Express and taken to Adak. Aircrews from the Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak responded along with the Good Samaritan vessels.

There are no reports of injuries. Weather is the area is reported as calm seas with limited visibility. The cause of the vessel taking on water is under investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Updated as of 6:10 PM

Two “Good Samaritan” vessels are on scene and assisting. A Coast Guard C130 aircraft is monitoring the scene. A second C130 and two Coast Guard helicopters are en route from Kodiak to the scene.

Petty Officer John Paul Rios, U.S. Coast Guard, said they received an alert at 11:34 AM through an EPIRB message. EPIRB stands for Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon. Once the EPIRB was activated, the Coast Guard contacted the captain of the ship who said they were taking on water.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Original Story
Forty-six people have abandoned a sinking fishing vessel in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands The Coast Guard says all 46 donned survival suits Tuesday and were awaiting rescue in three life rafts.

The Coast Guard says a Good Samaritan vessel was on scene, and Petty Officer Kelly Parker said the plan is for all 46 crew members to board the Spar Canis.

A Coast Guard spokesman said the crew members were off the 220-foot fishing vessel Alaska Juris, which was taking on water Tuesday morning. The ship is sinking near Kiska Island, about 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports.

Two others civilian ships and a Coast Guard cutter were en route. The Coast Guard is also sending two helicopters, and it has a military transport plane in the vicinity.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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