Three people were rescued when their fishing boat took on water and and sank in Sitka Sound Monday night (7-2-18).
The 33-foot troller Leona, owned by Hank Moore, called about 11 p.m. saying it was in trouble near Povorotni Point about 7 miles south of Sitka. A Coast Guard helicopter, a Sitka Fire Department rescue boat, and another fishing vessel, Pacific Pearl, responded to the scene.
The helicopter dropped a pump, but after some difficulty starting it, the crew reported that the pump was not controlling the flooding.
The three crewmembers abandoned ship and were picked up by the Pacific Pearl and taken back to Sitka. No injuries were reported.
Petty Officer Breanna Tessier of Coast Guard Sector Juneau says the rescue was conducted in the dark. The cause of Leona’s flooding remains unclear.
In a phone call with KCAW Tuesday (7-3-18), Moore confirmed that the Leona was now “on the bottom of the ocean,” but that he and his crew were safe. He said that the flooding began in the Leona’s engine compartment, and the boat quickly lost power.
The Leona is the first vessel lost during the summer troll opening, which began on July 1. Around 900 permit holders participate in the fishery.
Hank Moore has another business in Sitka, Hank’s Cab. Moore is also a well-known musician and music instructor in the community.
KTOO’s Matt Miller contributed to this story.