A busy morning for rescuers

Here's a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

Jan. 25, 2012

Air Station Kodiak rescues 11 from two fishing vessels

JUNEAU — Coast Guard helicopter crews this morning rescued 11 fishermen from two vessels near Kodiak.

Kodiak watchstanders received a call Tuesday night from the 58-foot fishing vessel Kimberly, homeported in Juneau, stating the vessel had run aground in Portage Bay and needed assistance.

An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter launched at about 9:30 p.m. and arrived on scene within an hour. Foul weather, including sustained 60-knot winds with gusts up to 90 knots and 16-foot seas, prevented the aircrew from rescuing the personnel at that time.

The Jayhawk returned to Kodiak to refuel and a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane and a second Jayhawk were launched to assist the crew of the Kimberly.

As aircrews were returning to assist the Kimberly, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a mayday call at 6:30 a.m. from the fishing vessel Heritage south of Kodiak with seven people aboard.

The second Jayhawk was redirected to assist the 68-foot Heritage. Air Station Kodiak launched a third helicopter to assist the Kimberly.

The third helicopter arrived at the Kimberly's location, safely hoisted all four crewmembers and arrived at Air Station Kodiak at 10:30 a.m.

The second Jayhawk continued to the Heritage's location, arriving at about 7 a.m., and began rescuing survivors. Two crewmembers were safely hoisted from the water and the good Samaritan fishing vessel Tuxedni rescued the other five crewmembers from a life raft at 7:40 a.m.

The second Jayhawk crew returned to Kodiak with the two rescued Heritage crewmembers at 9 a.m. and the Tuxedni took the passengers to Lazy Bay. The Tuxedni and five survivors are expected to arrive in Kodiak at 1 p.m. Thursday.

The crews of both vessels were wearing survival suits and are reported to be in good or fair condition.