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Coast Guard officer injured in Alaska rescue dies

By Associated Press 11:28 AM December 19, 2013

The Coast Guard says Petty Officer Third Class Travis Obendorf was injured Nov. 11 while recovering a small boat.

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 yesterday 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 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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