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Five rescued from abandoned F/V Masonic

Five fishermen were rescued from their life raft Tuesday after they were forced to abandon their fishing vessel taking on water southeast of Sitka.

A Coast Guard helicopter hoisted all five people and brought them to Sitka, uninjured.

A Channel 16 transmission was heard “Mayday, vessel Masonic going down,” at approximately 2:33 a.m. The vessel’s last position south of Cape Decision was determined via their automatic identification system (AIS) after Coast Guard attempts to raise the caller on the radio were unsuccessful.

The cruise ship Oosterdam responded to offer assistance.

The aircrew located the life raft on the north side of Coronation Island at approximately 4 a.m., with all five people aboard wearing cold weather survival suits. The life raft was tied off to the stern of the grounded fishing vessel.

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