Coast Guard Locates Overdue Hunters

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Coast Guard located three Anchorage hunters overdue during a trip from Whittier to Green Island in Prince William Sound today. They were in no distress but their radio was inoperable.

Tom Tibor, and his sons Jim and Michael were reported to the Coast Guard as overdue by Tibor’s wife shortly after 6 p.m. Monday.

A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescue crew from Air Station Kodiak conducted an aerial search from Green Island to Whittier and located the men in Passage Canal about 12 miles out from Whittier. They were delayed due to weather.

The men departed Whittier on Thursday aboard the White Searunner, a 22-foot white aluminum vessel. Their intention was to return by 6 p.m. Monday.

Outdoor enthusiasts and hunters are reminded to prepare for the weather when out and about in Alaska. Weather conditions can change very rapidly and unforeseen events are always possible.

It is recommended that you pack clothing for cold and inclement weather even if it is sunny and warm when you depart. Temperatures drop rapidly when the sun goes down and if you get wet the body has to work much harder to generate and retain heat.

Communications equipment is essential and can make all the difference when stranded in remote areas. A back up hand-held radio and extra batteries are recommended. Inmarsat phones and radios are excellent tools. Cellular telephones are frequently used but coverage is limited away from cities and road systems. Personal location beacons are widely available now as well.

Another no cost tool that can be invaluable is a float plan. The Coast Guard encourages small craft operators to prepare a float plan before starting a trip, and leave it ashore with a yacht club, marina, friend or relative. Be specific. Check-in regularly by radio or telephone at each point specified in the float plan.

“The “fresher” your last known position, the better our chances of success in locating a missing vessel in the event search and rescue operations become necessary,” said Lt. LuAnn Kehlenbach, a rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage.

For additional information and sample float plans go to:
http://a170.uscgaux.info/d17_float_plan_page.htm or http://www.floatplancentral.org/

Editor’s Note: The Coast Guard does not accept float plans and should only be notified by your spouse or friend if there is a “deviation” (you are overdue) from the float plan.

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