Coast Guard rescues Juneau man from Sitka Sound

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka hoisted a 68-year old man from Sitka Sound after his 36-foot fishing vessel Rascal reportedly started taking on water and sank about 9 p.m. Saturday.

Lyle Martin, a Juneau resident, relayed a mayday call to Coast Guard Sector Juneau rescue coordination center watchstanders via VHF- FM channel 16 at 8:35 p.m. stating his emergent situation. Martin abandoned the Rascal and it is unknown if he was wearing any survival gear. A good Samaritan was in the vicinity, located Martin and held him to the side of their vessel.

Sector Juneau search and rescue watchstanders responded quickly to the call and 35 minutes later, an Air Station Sitka helicopter crew arrived. Martin was hoisted by the crew and safely delivered to awaiting emergency medical personnel. He was transported to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka then later medevaced to Seattle. His condition is unknown.

“This is an instance where the mariner greatly assisted the rescue effort by being prepared and letting the Coast Guard know the extent of his situation early,” said Scott Girard, Sector Juneau lead command center controller. “Rescue crews and good Samaritans were able to assist quickly, resulting in a life saved.”

Marine Safety Detachment Sitka will investigate the cause of the sinking and ascertain if any environmental issues exist. It was reported that 450 gallons of fuel are on board the Rascal. The Rascal does not pose to be a navigational hazard.

Weather at the time of the rescue was an air temperature of 51 degrees, water temperature of 53 degrees, visibility less than one mile, and 10 mph winds.

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