Coast Guard officer injured in Alaska rescue dies

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Associated Press

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 19 at 2:33 AM

SEATTLE (AP) — The Coast Guard says one of its officers who was injured last month while rescuing crew members from a disabled fishing vessel off Alaska has died of his injuries.

In a statement, the Coast Guard said Petty Officer Third Class Travis Obendorf died Wednesday at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

The 166-foot Alaska Mist suffered a mechanical failure and was adrift north of Amak Island off the Alaska Peninsula. Obendorf's cutter, the Waesche (WAY-shee) responded, evacuated non-essential members of the 22-person crew, then took the Mist under tow to Dutch Harbor.

The Coast Guard says Obendorf was injured Nov. 11 during the first passenger transfer while recovering a small boat. He was flown to Anchorage and transferred to the Seattle hospital on Dec. 6.

His cutter's commanding officer, Capt. John McKinley, said Obendorf's willingness to help others "even amidst the dangerous environment of the Bering Sea," embodies the Coast Guard's core values.

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