By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Capsized boat prompts rescue by Coasties

Four crew members rescued after seiner tips over in port


Photo courtesy US Coast Guard

The fishing seiner Elohim capsized after exiting the small boat harbor Friday evening.

The US Coast Guard is investigating why a seiner tipped over in the waters outside the small boat harbor in Valdez.

"We'll know more once the boat is out of the water," said Lt. Allie Ferko of the US Coast Guard.

Ferko said four crew members aboard the boat escaped injury, two by climbing out of a window before the boat was fully tipped over, and two escaped from the back of the vessel, reported as Elohim, which is based out of Homer.

"They were not wearing life jackets," Ferko said.

A press release issued by the Coast Guard Saturday said the incident occurred Friday evening.

"At approximately 6:15 p.m. Friday, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a report that the seine fishing vessel Elohim capsized while transiting Port Valdez with four adults aboard," the press release said. "The fishing vessel Infinite Grace recovered all four crewmembers and delivered them to the Valdez Small Boat Harbor. No injuries were reported."

The Coast Guard also reported that the he Infinite Grace towed Elohim to the Mineral Creek mooring buoy in Port Valdez that night to await salvage. No pollution related to the incident has been reported, however the Elohim's owner deployed boom around the vessel as a precautionary measure. The vessel has a fuel capacity of approximately 900 gallons. It was reported the vessel had approximately 500 pounds of salmon on board.

Ferko said the salmon was likely lost when the boat tipped over.

She said the Captain of the Port implemented a 300 foot safety zone around the vessel "that will remain in effect until salvage operations are complete."


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