The M/V Kennicott, a ferry in the Alaska Marine Highway System fleet, helped a fishing boat in trouble after it began taking on water 20 miles southwest of Kodiak island on Sunday afternoon.
The U.S. Coast Guard says it got a distress call from the 43-foot crab and halibut boat, the F/V Erica Renee, shortly after noon. The state ferry Kennicott was nearby, returning to Kodiak from Sand Point, and was the first boat on the scene.
Crew from the 382-foot Kennicott said the Erica Renee was listing heavily after taking on water after its bilge pump shorted out.
"They said it was stern-heavy," said Petty Officer Grant DeVuyst, a Coast Guard spokesman. "The crew of the M/V Kennicott assessed the situation and was able to send over a generator and a pump, which got the Erica Renee seaworthy again."
After the Erica Renee was pumped out, it was able to motor to nearby Alitak Bay for repairs. The Kennicott returned to its journey to Kodiak.
Rescues and assists are not unheard of for the state ferry system. "We have at least one to two times a year where one of our vessels helps a boat or picks up campers who got themselves into trouble," said Jeremy Woodrow, spokesman for the Alaska Marine Highway.
No one was injured in the Sunday incident, but lending a hand will affect the Kennicott's schedule.
"Because of the vessel assist, the Kennicott will be late to ports as it sails from Juneau on Wednesday, June 5th, to Bellingham, Washington," said Woodrow.
The Kennicott will slowly catch up with its schedule, and should be on time when it arrives in Washington state, according to Woodrow.
Contact Sean Doogan at sean(at)alaskadispatch.com