VIDEO: Northern Belle rescue off Alaska

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The crew of the 75-foot Seattle-based fishing vessel Northern Belle are praising the captain who died in the sinking, Robert Royer, as a hero.

The Northern Belle sank Tuesday 50 miles south of Montague Island, Alaska.

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Click play to watch Coast Guard video of the rescue.

Royer placed a mayday call to the Coast Guard, which the crew credits with allowing the rescue agency to find them in time. There is question now as to whether the vessel's EPRIB was functioning properly. (Click here to listen to the Coast Guard's recording of the mayday call: mayday 1, mayday 2.)

"I totally believe the captain saved our lives," crewmember Robert Jack told co-anchor Harry Smith on CBS' "The Early Show." "The captain got off the mayday. Later on, we found out [the EPIRB], after the ship went down, did not transmit a beacon to the satellite that goes directly to Washington, D.C. The [EPRIB] was not working. So, if the captain wasn't able to give the proper longitude and latitude and send out the mayday, there would have been no rescue, sir."

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