Coast Guard saves eight boaters throughout Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska – Coast Guard rescue crews throughout Alaska contributed to the successful rescue of eight people, three near Ketchikan and five near Homer Tuesday after two separate vessels became disabled one with an infant on board and the other taking on water.

Coast Guard search and rescue controllers at Sector Juneau Command Center coordinated the rescue of three men after the vessel Sleep Bandit began taking on water in the vicinity of Myers Chuck near Ketchikan around 11:30 p.m. Monday.

The Coast Guard issued a Marine Assistance Request Broadcast over VHF-radio channel 16 which was responded to by the tug boat Edith Olsen.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was launched from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka along with a 47-foot motor life boat from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan.

The tug Edith Olsen being the first on scene, began dewatering the Sleep Bandit.

The 47-foot motor lifeboat crew arrived on scene around 2 a.m., completed dewatering of the Sleep Bandit and towed it to Tomas Basin in Ketchikan where a post search and rescue boarding was conducted further leading to the voyage of the Sleep Bandit being terminated because of insufficient safety gear including no vessel registration, no VHF radio, visual distress signaling devices were expired and no fire extinguisher.

Additionally, Coast Guard Auxiliary Station Homer rescued two adults, two children and one infant after the 16-foot skiff they were on become disabled about three miles northeast of Homer Spit around 11 p.m. Monday.

Anthony and Dawn Crump along with three children had been camping in Halibut Cove since Friday and were returning to Homer when the engine broke down.

The Coast Guard was notified by the Homer Police Department after Anthony Crump, the owner of the skiff, called saying that there vessel was disabled.

“The owner of the vessel shot a flare that better assisted the auxiliary in locating them,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael McNeil, assigned to the Sector Anchorage Command Center.

Everyone on board the skiff except for the infant had personal flotation devices. Crump also had flares, a fire extinguisher and basic safety gear necessary when you are out on the water.

National Safe Boating Week begins May 16 and runs through May 22.

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