Coast Guard rescues overdue fisherman on Knight Island

JUNEAU, Alaska -The Coast Guard located and safely hoisted two fisherman from an island 60 miles south of Anchorage after winter weather forced them to take refuge ashore.

Luke Erwinski and Brandon Phillips were fishing when they beached their 20-foot boat on Knight Island.

The fisherman were reported overdue to the Coast Guard by their employer at 7:50 p.m. Saturday.

A MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Kodiak was launched at 12:10 a.m. and located the men at 1:22 a.m. They were safely hoisted and flown to Kodiak at 4 a.m.

No injuries were reported. The men built a fire while awaiting rescue and had food and water.

There are no photos or video of this case.

The Coast Guard recommends all mariners carry survival equipment, food, water and extra clothes when traveling in Alaska. Alaska’s weather is often unpredictable and can force mariners to take shelter in a remote location.

Mariners should also file a float plan before leaving port. A float plan is a written statement of the details of an intended voyage usually filed with a friend, neighbor and/or marina operator.

If a vessel has an emergency or is overdue, pertinent information will be available to provide local marine police or the Coast Guard. Mariners should be sure to “close out” a float plan to avoid an unnecessary and costly search.

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