Coast Guard and Petersburg Search and Rescue rescue boater near Petersburg, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard and Petersburg Search and Rescue located and rescued a boater from a small island south of Petersburg Tuesday.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka hoisted the man from the island and transported him to Petersburg in good condition.

Coast Guard command center watchstanders in Juneau received a report from a concerned family member that the boater was two hours overdue from a trip from Greens Camp to Banana Pt. at the south end of Mitkof Island Monday night. The boater departed Greens Camp in a 14-foot skiff, reportedly without any communications equipment.

The watchstanders requested assistance from Petersburg SAR and directed the launch of the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka to search for the man. Petersburg SAR personnel conducting a shoreline search along the road system on Mitkof Island located the man stranded on a small island approximately 150 yards from shore but were unable to reach the man due to poor weather conditions, so they directed the Jayhawk crew to his location. The man’s skiff had broken down and was left on the island to be recovered later.

“This case demonstrates the benefits of the Coast Guard’s strong partnerships with local search and rescue personnel throughout Alaska,” said Lt. Cmdr. Doug Watson of the Coast Guard 17th District response management department. “Our hoist capable helicopters are an ideal resource for search and rescue operations and our crews train regularly in order to safely and efficiently conduct their missions.”

Weather conditions at the time of the rescue were reportedly winds gusting to 40 mph with 7-foot seas.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to carry multiple means of communications such as a marine band VHF-FM radio, mobile phone, satellite phone and emergency beacon, when on the water or in the backcountry. It is also recommended to file a float plan with a friend, family member or local harbormaster detailing the voyage, vessel and any passengers or crew. Sample float plans are available by visiting www.uscgboating.org.

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