JUNEAU, Alaska — A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Forward Operating Location Deadhorse assisted a stranded boater at the entrance of the Colville River approximately 41 miles west of Deadhorse, Alaska, Tuesday.
The Jayhawk crew provided a radio and fuel to the stranded boater who safely transited to Nuiqsut.
Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders received a request for assistance from North Slope Borough search and rescue personnel after they were notified of a Nuiqsut resident who became stranded on the ice due to deteriorating weather while attempting to retrieve a disabled vessel. Watchstanders directed the launch of the Deadhorse Jayhawk aircrew.
The Jayhawk crew, along with a Nuiqsut SAR volunteer who assisted with local area knowledge, located the boater and transferred a radio to him to assist with communications. Once the boater was able to free both vessels from the ice he reported the he did not have enough fuel to make it back to Nuiqsut. The Jayhawk crew returned with fuel that was transferred to the boater.
“This boater’s use of a float plan and properly registered personal locator beacon were instrumental in the safe, efficient prosecution of this case and a successful outcome,” said Cmdr. Nathan Coulter, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak operations officer. “Increased maritime activity in the arctic region during the summer months underscores the need for Coast Guard presence and robust cooperation between federal, state and tribal partners.”
FOL Deadhorse consists of two Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters with supporting air, ground and communications crews. Air Station Kodiak is more than 1,200 miles from Deadhorse and having the FOL in place increases the Coast Guard’s readiness and allows for faster responses to emergencies in the Arctic region.
Weather on scene was reported as overcast with 17 mph winds.