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Coast Guard rescues 3 men and a dog near Whittier

Courtesy of USCG/Petty Officer Ian Gray
Bryan Venua
Courtesy of USCG/Petty Officer Ian Gray

The United States Coast Guard rescued three men and a dog on Monday after their boat ran aground on Esther Island near Whittier. No injuries were reported; however, the status of the vessel is still unknown.

According to a press release, the 45-foot F/V Privateer was hitting rocks near the island on Monday as wind gusts were up to 60 knots in rough seas with low visibility. The 3-person crew put on survival suits and were preparing to abandon ship.

The Coast Guard says two good Samaritan vessels and a Whittier Sea Tow responded to a distress call placed around noon Monday and were attempting to help when the Coast Guard arrived.

Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie, a public information officer for the Coast Guard, says a helicopter and a plane were dispatched from Kodiak to respond to the emergency.

“The helicopter crew hoisted the three men as well as a dog,” she said. “They were all stranded on rocks and high wind conditions and then all three survivors and the dog were then safely transported to emergency medical services in Anchorage.”

Petty Officer Dante Corradi, a USCG watchstander, thanked the good Samaritans for their help.

“It’s incredible these men and the dog made it out okay and the fact that multiple good Samaritans were ready to assist made a huge difference in the outcome of this rescue,” he said.

Southcentral Alaska waters continue to be hit with gale-force conditions as of Tuesday night.