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Coast Guard searching for 5 people missing after fishing boat sinks off Alaska

The Coast Guard in Alaska on Wednesday was searching for five people believed to be in the water after the crab-fishing boat they were in sank off an island Tuesday night.

Seven people in all were aboard the Scandies Rose. Two survivors found in a life raft were hoisted aboard a helicopter, the Coast Guard said.

The Scandies Rose, a 130-foot vessel, sank near Sutwik Island, which is around 400 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor, where the ship is homeported, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard got a mayday call from the boat at around 10 p.m. Tuesday and immediately launched a search, the agency said.

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“We are conducting an extensive search in a 300-square-mile area to locate the five missing persons from the Scandies Rose,” Lt. Wade Arnold, Coast Guard command duty officer at the 17th District command center, said in a statement.

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The conditions and ages of those who were rescued were not disclosed in the Coast Guard statement. Attempts to reach officials for more information were not immediately successful Wednesday.

The survivors, both wearing survival suits, were taken to Kodiak Hospital, where they were listed as stable, NBC affiliate KTTU of Anchorage reported.

The Coast Guard said weather at the scene involved winds in excess of 40 mph with 15- to 20-foot seas and visibility of around a mile.

The Coast Guard launched a helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane, and the helicopter crew rescued the two survivors. A cutter was ordered to assist from the Bering Sea, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard public affairs officer Melissa McKenzie told KTUU that when the distress call came in, officials sent out an emergency broadcast seeking help from nearby vessels but that nobody was able to assist.

“At the time of this event, the current conditions were just really, really bad,” she told the station. “So either there weren’t vessels in the area who were close enough to assist, or the weather conditions were so bad that they couldn’t assist because it was beyond their safety parameters.”