Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew rescues 3 from Chilkat River

Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk file photo

Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk file photo

KODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew rescued three individuals on the Chilkat River near Haines, Sunday night.

The aircrew arrived on scene at 10:20 p.m. aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and safely hoisted and transported two adult females and one adult male to awaiting local Emergency Medical Services personnel at the Haines airport.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received an agency assistance request from Alaska State Troopers at 8:35 p.m., reporting the three were stranded about 21 nautical miles northwest of Haines.

The three became stranded after capsizing their two kayaks and one raft and losing all of their belongings and gear.

The male, who was stuck on an island and separated from the females, was able to relay information to the search and rescue teams via his satellite communication device.

“The three kayakers were very well prepared,” said Lt. Erik Oredson, an Air Station Sitka pilot. “They were dressed for the water temperature instead of the air temperature, which means they were all wearing dry suits when we made the rescue. They had a solid communication plan and a reliable GPS device to relay their position and call for help and we were able to locate them easily because of these factors. They were in good spirits after we picked them up despite being submerged in near glacial waters and it all boils down to preparing for the worst possible situation.”

No medical injuries were reported.

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