Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers rescue man from swamped canoe near Nome

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrews assisted the Alaska State Troopers with the rescue of a 22-year-old man reported missing from a swamped canoe Saturday afternoon approximately 100 miles south of Nome.

An Alaska State Troopers ground search team vectored the location of the kayaker to an Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk helicopter crew. The aircrew brought the man to Stebbins Clinic for further medical care, where he reported minor scrapes and bruises.

Watchstanders at the 17th Coast Guard District command center received a request for agency assistance from the Alaska State Troopers to locate a kayaker unable to make it to shore in vicinity of Stebbins on South Norton Sound. The 17th District directed the launch of a HC-130 Hercules aircraft and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak to commence a search for the kayaker after 3 a.m. Saturday. An Alaska State Troopers 206 Cessna aircrew discovered a swamped green canoe near Kuiak Slough, but the kayaker was not seen. A C-130 aircrew from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center also assisted in the initial search to locate the man.

“Close coordination with our aircrews and partner agencies resulted in a safe and successful rescue of the man,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Suzanne Bitinas, watchstander for the 17th District command center. “The man’s decision to wear a personal flotation device increased his chances of survival and aided in the recovery efforts.”

Weather on scene was reported as clear and calm.

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