ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley towed a disabled sailboat to Dutch Harbor July 23.
The Alex Haley crew, on patrol near Dutch Harbor, received a call for assistance July 22 from the sailboat Nkhovazi with two British nationals aboard. The sailboat experienced a loss of steering when their rudder broke July 20, however, the crew continued to nurse their boat towards Dutch Harbor until it became apparent that they would not make their destination without assistance.
With the vessel 20-miles south of Unalaska and drifting away from land, the Alex Haley crew responded to the call for help, arriving on scene with the sailboat at just after midnight July 23 where they removed the two crewmembers and took the sailboat into tow.
“We maintain a constant Coast Guard cutter presence near the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea just for these types of issues,” said Lt. Bernie Auth, a 17th District search and rescue controller. “In this instance the Alex Haley crew was able to quickly respond and keep an issue of concern from becoming a life or death situation.”
The Alex Haley is scheduled to arrive in Dutch Harbor between 6 and 7 p.m. July 23 where the sailboat and crew will be transferred to a tug for assistance into the harbor.
The crew of the sailboat was heading to Dutch Harbor from Honolulu where their plans were then to head east and explore Alaska.
The Alex Haley is a former U.S. Navy salvage vessel that was recommissioned for Coast Guard duty on July 10, 1999. The cutter was named after author and journalist Alex Haley, the first chief journalist of the Coast Guard, the first African-American ever to reach the rank of PhoChief Petty Officer. He was also the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The Alex Haley is homeported in Kodiak, Alaska.