Five Fishermen Rescued from Sitkinak Island, Alaska After Boat Begins Taking on Water

Earlier this month, five fishermen were rescued from Sitkinak Island after the fishing boat they were traveling aboard hit a rock near Kodiak Island and began taking on water. United States Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley stated the crew aboard the 58-foot Kodiak Isle issued a call for help after learning the boat's dewatering pumps could not keep up with the water that was coming aboard. After issuing a distress call, the fishermen donned their survival gear and abandoned ship in an emergency life raft. The five men previously aboard the fishing vessel reportedly drifted until they reached a beach on Sitkinak Island. A Coast Guard helicopter allegedly spotted a flare used by the men about two hours after the dangerous incident began. According to Mosley, all five Kodiak Isle crew members were transported to Kodiak uninjured.

Coast Guard watchstander Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Brady applauded the emergency preparedness of the Kodiak Isle fisherman. She stated the vessel's crew members followed the proper protocol in responding to the accident when they alerted the Coast Guard to the emergency, donned survival gear, and left the fishing vessel with a locator beacon and flares. Brady also said the actions of the men made it easier for the Coast Guard to find and retrieve them. Despite taking on water, the fishing boat reportedly remained afloat in 10-foot seas and winds of up to 20 miles per hour. The exact cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured or killed in this incident. Still, making your living as a commercial fisherman can be dangerous. A seaman who is hurt in a commercial fishing accident is normally entitled to receive compensation for both maintenance and cure. Maintenance and cure is similar to the state workers' compensation benefits an employee who is injured on land may receive. Maintenance refers to the money a seaman must pay for living expenses because he or she is unable to work at sea. Cure refers to the medical benefits a hurt seaman receives while he or she recovers from on-the-job injuries. If you were hurt while working at sea, you should be eligible for both. An experienced maritime lawyer can explain your options for recovery in more detail and help you file your maintenance and cure claim.

Call Seattle Maritime Attorneys John Merriam and Gordon Webb toll free at (877) 800-1007 if you were injured while working on a vessel at sea. Our knowledgeable Seattle commercial fishing injury lawyers have nearly 50 years of combined experience assisting those who were hurt while working at sea achieve the compensation their injuries merit. Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webb handle maritime injury cases that originated throughout the world including the Gulf of Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Bering Sea. To discuss your case with a hardworking maritime attorney today, please contact John Merriam and Gordon Webb through the law firm's website.

Additional Resources:

U.S. Coast Guard Rescues 5 Fishermen Near Kodiak, by Chris Clint, ktuu.com

Five Safe After FV Kodiak Isle Hits Rock Near Sitkinak, by Matt Miller and Jay Barrett, kmxt.org

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