After abandoning their disabled fishing ship on the high seas, the 46 crew members of the Alaska Juris ended up on two other vessels that set them ashore at the Aleutian Island port of Adak.

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On Wednesday morning, the Ocean Peace and the Seafisher were focused on the North Pacific harvest of Atka mackerel when a distress call prompted a sudden change in mission for the two sister ships.

Some 55 miles away, another factory trawler, the 220-foot Alaska Juris, was taking on water and in need of rescue for the 46 crew members who had donned survival suits and climbed into life rafts.

The Ocean Peace and Seafisher crews quit fishing and processing their catch and embarked on a six-hour journey to help rescue the Juris crew Tuesday evening, and then took them to Adak, where the crew arrived Wednesday.

“They said we got to go, and were on it,” said Todd Loomis, an Anchorage-based official with Ocean Peace Inc., which operates the two factory trawlers. “Our guys fish out at the end of the earth in the Aleutians … and that’s just the way it works.”

Representatives of Fishing Company of Alaska did not return a phone call seeking comment on what went wrong aboard the Juris.

Coast Guard officials say that problems started in the engine room of the Juris, and that two cargo ships, the Spar Canis and the Vienna Express, were first to respond to the vessel’s distress signal.

Loomis said the Ocean Peace and Seafisher arrived around 6 p.m., picking up some of the crew from two life rafts still tethered to the side of the Juris and other crew who had already boarded a cargo ship.

Though the North Pacific can be notoriously stormy, conditions Tuesday were relatively mild. The winds were 10 to 15 knots, with visibility greatly reduced due to heavy fog, according to Loomis.

The Coast Guard was unable to conduct a scheduled flyover Wednesday to determine whether the abandoned Juris is afloat because no aircraft was available, according to a Coast Guard spokesman.

Adak, where the Alaska Juris crew arrived Wednesday, is about 175 miles southeast of where the vessel ran into trouble.

The Alaska Juris was part of the head-and-gut fleet, a group of boats that catches and processes fish off Alaska and over the years has been involved in a series of serious incidents. To improve safety aboard the fleet, the Coast Guard launched a program, “alternative compliance,” that involved measures to improve the vessels’ seaworthiness and crew training.

“One of the big focuses of the program was making sure that the crews had sufficient training to get safely into the water,” said Chris Woodley, a former Coast Guard safety official who helped launch “alternative compliance.”

The Coast Guard also required equipment, such as boarding ladders, to assist crews who had to abandon ship.

“I am just really grateful that the crew successfully evacuated and nobody was hurt,” said Woodley, who now serves as executive director of the Groundfish Forum, a fishing-industry group.