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Coast Guard helicopter rescues 5 from sinking boat off Alaska coast

By the CNN Wire Staff
Coast Guard rescuers transfer a member of the Sandy M crew  at Air Station Sitka, Alaska, on Saturday.
Coast Guard rescuers transfer a member of the Sandy M crew at Air Station Sitka, Alaska, on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Coast Guard says the ship's crew sent a radio message asking for help
  • All five crew members are released in good condition
  • Winds are 40 mph at the time of the rescue
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(CNN) -- A helicopter rescue crew airlifted five people from a sinking fishing boat off the Alaska coast, the Coast Guard said.

Crew members made a radio call for help about 10 a.m. Saturday, notifying authorities that the 34-foot Sandy M was taking on water and they planned to abandon ship.

Amid heavy winds and choppy seas, the rescue helicopter arrived at 10:40 a.m. and hoisted three crew members from a life raft and two from the water, the Coast Guard said in a statement. Emergency medical teams were waiting for them onshore in Sitka, Alaska.

The rescue took place near Whitney Island, Alaska, when winds were reportedly 40 mph and waves were between 6 and 8 feet, the statement said.

Medical personnel assessed all five of the crew members and released them in good condition, the Coast Guard said.

CNN's Greg Morrison contributed to this report.