Bering Sea storm
6:22 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Coast Guard aiding disabled Seattle fishing vessel

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard has evacuated most of the crew from a 143-foot Seattle-based fishing vessel limping on one engine in the stormy Bering Sea.

Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis says 20 of the 34 crew members from the catcher-processor Rebecca Irene were taken aboard the Coast Guard cutter Sherman on Tuesday after the fishing vessel lost power in its other engine.

She said the boat was continuing its slow progress Tuesday night toward Unimak Island in the Aleutian chain. The good news was that the brunt of a strong storm has passed well north of the vessel. The spokeswoman says the Sherman is staying with the Rebecca Irene.

Weather in the area Tuesday night included 40 mph winds and swells of 19 feet. Francis says she has not heard reports of any other vessels in trouble due to the storm.