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A world-famous crabber rescued five people from a sinking seiner near Prince of Wales Island early Wednesday morning.
The Homer-based fishing vessel Time Bandit is known for its role in the “Deadliest Catch” reality TV series, which focuses on Bering Sea fisheries.
But right now, it’s in southern Southeast fishing for salmon, a vessel crewmember said via Facebook.
The Time Bandit was near Dall Island, on the outer coast of southern Prince of Wales island, about 4:30 this morning. That’s when the 56-foot seiner Coral Sea ran aground.
It picked up the skipper and four crewmembers, who had gotten into a life raft.
At last report, the Coral Sea was partially underwater. The Coast Guard says it’s owned by a Sitka fisherman.
In a separate incident, the Pacific Queen sunk around midnight Tuesday near Lung Island, southwest of Petersburg and west of Wrangell.
Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Klingenberg says the 75-foot tender’s crew asked for help after it began taking on water.
“That vessel is sunk in about 40 fathoms of water and the cause of the sinking is still under investigation,” Klingenberg says.
He says the skipper and crewmembers abandoned ship and escaped in a life raft.
The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from Sitka. But the three on board were picked by the fishing vessel Windham Bay and taken into Petersburg.
“This crew that was forced to abandon ship, they were prepared for a worse case scenario. They had a life raft that they could get on to and they had an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), which allowed them to be located in a timely manner,” he says.
The Pacific Queen was tendering for SeaLevel Seafoods, based in Wrangell. The company says it will not comment on the sinking at this time.
Klingenberg says the Pacific Queen had about 1,000 gallons of diesel on board. The Coral Sea had about 500.
A Coast Guard helicopter is flying over the sites of two sinkings today (Wednesday) to check for any pollution. So far, none has been spotted.