Coast Guard to recognize ferry crew for vessel rescue

Posted: Friday, October 23, 2009

JUNEAU - The Coast Guard is recognizing the crew of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Taku in a ceremony today for their rescue of two men off the fishing vessel Alaskan Pride in Chatham Strait last week.

A Coast Guard Certificate of Merit will be awarded in a ceremony at the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal at 1:15 p.m. today.

The Alaskan Pride's captain, Mike Worthington of Kake, reported an engine room fire the night of Oct. 13 that grew out of control. He and deckhand Darren Manual of Spokane, Wash., put out a mayday call and abandoned the 55-foot boat for a life raft.

The Taku, a 352-foot ferry, was bound for Hoonah from Juneau at the time and heard the call. Capt. Thomas Moore of Ketchikan changed course to assist, and rescued the two men in 35-knot winds and 8- to 10-foot seas.

"The Alaska Marine Highway System's ferries go above and beyond to be mindful of mariners in need of assistance along their diverse routes," said Cdr. Matt Jones, Sector Juneau deputy commander. "The Coast Guard appreciates their nautical professionalism and enthusiastic support."

Moore is unable to attend the ceremony. Capt. Michael Montez will stand in, said spokesman Roger Wetherell of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

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