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Coast Guard rescues five Alaska fishermen from life raft

Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa sails through icy waters in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

HERBERT LAW/U.S. COAST GUARD

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: May 8, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Coast Guard helicopter plucked five commercial fishermen from a life raft after their fishing boat ran aground in southeast Alaska.

The crew of the Masonic, based in Sitka, radioed a mayday call just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and said their 62-footfishing boat was going down.

The Sitka-based helicopter and the Petersburg-based cutter Anacapa responded.

The helicopter found the stricken vessel at about 4 a.m. The five crew members were in survival suits on a life raft tied to the stern of the vessel grounded on Coronation Island southeast of Sitka.

Coast Guard Capt. Stephen White says the Masonic had received a commercial fishing vessel dockside examination before departing and had conducted an abandon ship drill.

He says their preparation probably saved their lives.

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