Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew locates overdue mariner near Bostwick Inlet, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard located and assisted a man reported overdue near Bostwick Inlet off Gravina Island, Monday evening.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the man for transport to Metlakatla where he was met by emergency medical services.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a call from Metlakatla Fire Department that the man was reported several hours late to meet a friend after leaving Walden Point in a 16-foot pleasure craft. The watchstanders dispatched a Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and the Jayhawk helicopter crew to begin a search from Walden Point to Metlakatla and Gravina Island.

During a shoreline search of Gravina Island, the Jayhawk crew noticed a large fire built on the shore of the inlet and the survivor waving his arms. The man reported he had experienced engine trouble and drifted until his vessel reached the beach in Bostwick Inlet.

“The man was able to keep warm and help us locate him, which can be difficult to do in the dark winter nights,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Aguirre, Sector Juneau command duty officer. “We’re glad we were able to assist the man and get him to the help he needed; however, we do stress that mariners be prepared for emergencies while underway by ensuring they have working radios, cold weather gear and a float plan.”

Weather at the time of the search was reported as 28-40 mph winds, 5-7 foot seas and 10-mile visibility.

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