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F/V Sunnfjord sinks, crew safe, multiple Good Samaritans assist.

Five fisherman were rescued after an abandon ship due to flooding while west of Cape Alava, Wednesday.

Coast Guard Motor lifeboat took the fishermen aboard and transported them to Coast Guard Station Neah Bay with no reported medical concerns.

The 87-foot fishing vessel Sunnfjord was reported flooding at 1:45pm and with all their dewatering pumps running the crew was unable to keep up with the rising water. Crews aboard the Coast Guard Cutters Cuttyhunk and Swordfish, an MH-65 dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles, the MLB from Station Quillayute River and an MLB from Station Neah Bay responded, as well as good Samaritans aboard the vessels Island Voyager and Equinox, and the crew of the vessel Eclipse.

The fishermen were prepared with their survival suits on, life jackets, the captain put his cell phone in a plastic bag to keep it dry as they were experiencing issues with their handheld radio. The water had risen in the engine room to above the floor boards. The captain wanted to dewater and not abandon ship but the Sunnfjord lost main engine power as the water continued to rise.

Samaritan crews were asked to stand down while the crew of the F/V Equinox stayed on scene to support if needed.

Neither of two pumps passed from the Cuttyhunk crew could be started to keep up with the rising water, and the fishermen prepared to abandon ship. The crew of the Cuttyhunk readied their rescue swimmer, but the MLB from Station Quillayute River arrived and was able to pick up the fishermen directly.

The Cuttyhunk remained on scene to observe the condition of the Sunnfjord, which sank approximately six miles offshore in an estimated 300-foot water with a about 800 gallons of diesel reported aboard.

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