The Glory was without power and taking on water in 55 mile-per-hour winds and 5-foot seas. An Air Station Sitka rescue swimmer assisted in hoisting both crew members from the distressed vessel. Watch the full video. (USCG image)
Islet Passage (center of chart) is relatively protected, but Monday’s storm generated heavy seas and high winds in the area. (KCAW image)

Two crew members were safely rescued from a sinking fishing boat south of Sitka on Monday evening (2-7-22).

According to a news release, the Coast Guard was notified at 8 p.m. that the 40-foot troller Glory was in distress in Islet Passage, about 17 miles south of Sitka, near Kanga Bay.

A rescue helicopter from Air Station Sitka arrived on scene soon after the report, and lowered a rescue swimmer to aid the two mariners on board the Glory, however the flooding could not be stemmed, and its engine would not start.

Although protected waters, weather conditions in the area were poor, with 5-foot seas, and wind gusts to 55 miles per hour.

The swimmer advised the crew to abandon ship, and both were safely hoisted aboard the helicopter by 9 p.m.

Lt. Cmdr. Scott Woodcock, the helicopter pilot, complimented the crew of the Glory on their preparedness, with “good communication and survival gear.” He noted that the most difficult part of the rescue was the severe winds.

The Glory did not fully submerge in the incident, but instead was grounded. Petty Officer Janessa Warschkow says the owner has since returned  with a second vessel to de-fuel the Glory and refloat it Tuesday. The engines were restarted, and the Coast Guard is going to allow him to attempt to bring the vessel back to Sitka under its own power.