KODIAK (AP) Seven members of the Unification Church were rescued Tuesday afternoon, after suffering hypothermia when their fishing boat was swamped by a wave.
The passengers were in a convoy of four church-owned boats between Chiniak and Narrow Cape, when one vessel was struck by waves, Kodiak Harbor officials said.
The 28-foot boat was at anchor and church members were eating lunch near the stern, when waves swept the boat, said a local resident, David Cooper, who later helped bring the swamped vessel ashore.
Cooper told the Kodiak Daily Mirror that water from the waves compromised a hatch cover inside the transom and gradually filled the vessel's fish holds, causing the boat to list vertically and dumping the passengers into the freezing water.
They were rescued by church members in other boats and rushed to the Kodiak City dock, where Kodiak fire and rescue personnel awaited.
Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center reported treating the seven people for varying degrees of hypothermia, but no other injuries were reported.
The Coast Guard Cutter Storis, returning from a 45-day patrol in the Bering Sea, assisted in escorting the vessel to Kodiak.
The Unification church, led by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, was founded in 1954 in Seoul, South Korea. It owns a cannery in Kodiak.
Alaska State Troopers are investigating the incident.
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