Two rescued when fishing vessel sinks

Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 42-foot fishing vessel sank Tuesday morning in Wells Bay in northcentral Prince William Sound, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Two people aboard the vessel, the Myra Jean, had abandoned it for a skiff and were later picked up by the crew of another fishing vessel, the agency said.

The rescuers, aboard the vessel Anna Lee, were related to those on the Myra Jean, said Coast Guard Lt. Michele Schallip.

Both vessels were homeported in Tatitlik, about 20 miles south of Valdez, Schallip said. The cause of the sinking was unavailable.

Andrew Allen of Cordova, aboard the Myra Jean, was injured and taken to the Cordova hospital, said Myra Allen, his wife.

''My husband got banged up,'' she said by phone. She declined to offer additional details.

One of those aboard the Anna Lee was David Totemoff Sr., said Lisa Totemoff, his wife. Andrew Allen and Phillip Allen Jr. were setting shrimp pots, Lisa Totemoff said.

The Coast Guard received a mayday call from the Myra Jean at about 10 a.m., Schallip said. A Coast Guard helicopter launched from Kodiak but turned back when a C-130 Hercules and two H-60 Pavehawk helicopters launched from Kulis Air Guard Base in Anchorage, closer to the site of the sinking 31 miles southwest of Valdez.

But those aircraft also turned back when the Myra Jean's crew was picked up, Schallip said.

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