After roughly 15 hours adrift in a life raft on the frigid, turbulent North Pacific Ocean, four crewmen whose fishing vessel disappeared near the Aleutian Islands early Wednesday morning were rescued in good condition, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
But as night closed in on the search area in the remote Amchitka Pass, the number of confirmed dead stood at five. And the two remaining crew members from the vessel Katmai were still missing, though they likely had their survival suits on.
"The four survivors are reporting that all 11 crewmen were able to get into their survival suits," said Petty Officer Levi Read.
The intensive search for the 93-foot ship and its remaining crewmen was focused between the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean about 100 miles west of Adak, an area that has been battered by storms and turbulent seas in recent days.
When the survivors were lifted from the sea at about 4:30 p.m., the plan was to fly them to Adak, where a Coast Guard doctor had been deployed in anticipation of survivors being recovered. But the crewmen were in such good shape that they didn’t need emergency medical care, Lt. Eric Eggen said.