KODIAK, Alaska -- The bodies of five of the 12 crewmen who abandoned their fishing vessel to rough weather in the Gulf of Alaska north of Kodiak Monday have been recovered, the Coast Guard said.
The search for five crewmen still missing from the fishing vessel St. Patrick was to resume at dawn today, said Lt. Larry Hazel of the Coast Guard air station at Kodiak.
All 12 of the men aboard the scallop dragger abandoned ship shortly before midnight Monday, after a huge wave swept over the vessel knocking out the engine and electrical power.
Nine of the 12 crewmen wore survival suits. The three who did not are among those still reported missing.
The Coast Guard cutter Confidence, two C-130 airplanes and two HH-3F helicopters continued to search the Strait of Marmot between Afognak and Marmot islands for the missing men.
Two survivors -- Wallace R. Thomas, 23, of St. Augustine, Fla., and Robert Kidd, 28, of Warwick, R.I. -- were rescued by the Coast Guard Tuesday after spending 24 hours adrift in the frigid Alaskan waters. Thomas and Kidd, both outfitted in survival suits, were found washed ashore on Afognak Island.
Thomas was treated and released from Kodiak Island Hospital. Kidd was flown by helicopter from the Confidence to the hospital, and was reported in stable condition Wednesday night.
The bodies of five other crew members were recovered from the shore of Marmot Island Tuesday and Wednesday.
Lt. Hazel identified the victims as the ship's skipper, Cornelius Green, 37, and Wilson Pair, 28, both of Hampton, Va.; James Jobe, 23, of Norfolk, Va. and Ronald Newton, 23, of Lexington, Neb.
The identity of the fifth victim was being held pending notification of relatives.
The following crewmembers are still listed as missing: Venesa Sandin of Kodiak; Charles Parlett, 24, of West Point, Va.; Gary Todd Stallings, of Live Oak, Fla; Thomas Kauppinen, 20, of Norfolk, Va., Clifford Stiegell, 32, of South Bend, Wash., and Randal Ryker, 21, of Springfield, Ore.
The St. Patrick, of Jacksonville, Fla., ironically remained afloat despite winds of 60-70 knots.
'The skipper, believing the vessel would capsize without power, ordered the crew to abandon ship,' Hazel said. Given that the ship remained upright and afloat, Hazel said, the crew would have fared better had they remained with the St. Patrick.
Thomas told rescuers he and eight of the crew members floated together until Monday afternoon, when they caught sight of land. Thomas and another man elected to leave the group and make for shore, only to find that the land was sheer rock cliff battered with heavy seas.
They then maneuvered themselves back out to sea.
According to Hazel, Thomas remembered crawling ashore and waking up sometime Tuesday, when he was spotted by the fishing boat Jacqueline Joseph. Kidd was rescued just two miles from Thomas on Afognak Island. Neither knew of the other's presence, Hazel said.
The St. Patrick had been fishing in Alaska for six months. A tug boat towed the vessel to Kodiak Harbor.