Coast Guard rescues 5 fishermen from life raft

    Anchorage, Alaska (AP) - A Coast Guard helicopter plucked five commercial fishermen from a life raft after their fishing boat ran aground in southeast Alaska.

    The crew of the Masonic, based in Sitka, radioed a mayday call just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and said their 62-foot fishing boat was going down.

    The Sitka-based helicopter and the Petersburg-based cutter Anacapa responded.

    The helicopter found the stricken vessel at about 4 a.m. The five crew members were in survival suits on a life raft tied to the stern of the vessel grounded on Coronation Island southeast of Sitka.

    Coast Guard Capt. Stephen White says the Masonic had received a commercial fishing vessel dockside examination before departing and had conducted an abandon ship drill.

    He says their preparation probably saved their lives.

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