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Fishing Boat Sinks, Crewman Missing Near Kodiak

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Three crewmembers were rescued from a fishing boat Friday after it sank south of Kodiak Island but one crewman remained missing, the Coast Guard said.

As first reported by Kodiak Public Radio, KMXT-FM, the search for the missing crewman aboard the 58-foot vessel ADVANTAGE began shortly after midnight.

The Coast Guard was first alerted to a problem when the command center in Juneau received an emergency radio beacon indicating the location of the vessel 14 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.

After several attempts were made to contact the boat by radio, the Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and crew from Air Station Kodiak to go to where the emergency beacon indicated the distressed boat was located.

By the time the helicopter arrived on scene, the fishing vessel had already sunk and just a debris field remained where the Advantage went down.

"It looks like it sank fairly quickly," said Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

At the time the boat sank, the National Weather Service was forecasting 8-foot seas in the area.

The three crewmembers were found in a life raft. None of them was wearing survival suits.

They were hoisted to safety at 1:55 a.m. and brought back to Kodiak where they were treated for hypothermia at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center, she said.

The helicopter with a fresh crew returned to the area of the sinking vessel to look for the missing crewman. The search continued all night.

By noon Friday, Francis said four searches of the area had been made but there was no sign of the missing crewman.

Francis said conditions were favorable for searching with 2-foot seas, good visibility and a water temperature of 52 degrees.

She said the search would continue for the foreseeable future.

The names of the crewmen have not been released.

Francis said it is too early to know why the fishing boat sank.

Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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