Coast Guard rescues two Coast Guardsmen from Lincoln Island

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter crew rescued two stranded Coast Guardsmen Wednesday after their 18-foot aluminum skiff was overtaken by waves while trying to get underway from Lincoln Island.

Chief Petty Officer Michael Scales, 41, and Petty Officer 1st Class Steffen Frazier, 35, both stationed in Juneau went on a hunting trip to Lincoln Island in Auke Bay. While attempting to return to Juneau their skiff took on water and became grounded on a rock. The duo was forced to disembark and wade to shore in chest high water.

Frazier called Sector Juneau command center at 8:05 p.m. from his cell phone reporting their situation and requesting assistance. Sector Juneau search and rescue controllers directed the launch of a 47-foot motor life boat from Station Juneau and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka.

The Coast Guard boat crew arrived on scene at 9:37 p.m. but inclement weather prevented safe approach to the hunters. The boat crew remained on scene until the helicopter crew arrived.

At 10:18 p.m. the helicopter crew landed on the beach and assessed the sportsmen’s medical conditions. Both were cold and wet but in good condition. They were taken to Juneau where they needed no medical assistance.

The skiff is tied off to the rocks and will be salvaged by the owner once weather permits. It has approximately four gallons of gasoline on board.

On scene weather was reported to be 38 degrees, winds gusting to 20 mph and waves of three to five feet.

The Coast Guard reminds individuals to be prepared when enjoying the Alaskan outdoors. Float and trip plans should be filed with family or friends. Wearing appropriate clothing, having a personal survival kit, emergency equipment such as flares and a hand-held radio is recommended regardless of the current weather or trip duration. Conditions change quickly and fortune favors the prepared.

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