KODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued two injured boaters from a 32-foot pleasure craft near Salisbury Sound 25 miles northeast of Sitka Tuesday.
The Jayhawk crew located the vessel Atlantis, safely hoisted both boaters aboard the helicopter and transported them to awaiting emergency medical personnel in Sitka for further transport to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital to receive medical care.
Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a request for assistance over VHF channel 16 late Tuesday afternoon. The boaters reportedly struck a rock near shore and suffered injuries. Good Samaritans aboard vessel Kiwi assisted the boaters by towing their boat to a nearby beach where the Jayhawk crew was able to hoist one of the boaters from the beach and the other boater using a litter off of the Atlantis.
Sitka Mountain Rescue was notified of the incident. They launched from Sitka, rendezvoused with the vessel and took it in tow back to Sitka.
“Our hoist capable helicopter and our proximity to the scene was instrumental in rescuing these boaters and getting them to the advanced medical care they needed,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Belisle, Air Station Sitka rescue swimmer on the case. “The assistance of good Samaritans aboard vessel Kiwi was extremely helpful and allowed us to provide assistance to the injured boaters.”
The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to exercise sound judgment and vigilance when operating their vessels at night.
Weather on scene at the time of the incident was reported as 12 mph winds and a temperature of 24 degrees.