Coast Guard aircrew rescues 3 from small skiff in Holtham Inlet, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew deployed from forward-operating location Kotzebue transfer a mariner to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at the Kodiak Airport, Alaska, August 13, 2019. The Jayhawk aircrew located and rescued three hypothermic mariners from a skiff low on fuel and beset by weather and sea conditions in Holtham Inlet. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Fernando Gamboa.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew deployed from forward-operating location Kotzebue transfer a mariner to awaiting emergency medical services personnel August 13, 2019.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Fernando Gamboa.

JUNEAU, Alaska — An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Forward Operating Location Kotzebue, rescued three hypothermic mariners from a skiff in Holtham Inlet, Tuesday.

The Jayhawk aircrew located the skiff in Holtham Inlet low on fuel and beset by weather and sea conditions. A rescue swimmer was deployed, found the two men and teenage boy hypothermic, and hoisted all three.

They were then transported to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at Kotzebue, Alaska.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Seventeenth District command center received a request at 10:35 a.m. from the Alaska State Troopers for assistance in searching for a vessel overdue to Kotzebue.

“We were fortunate to have a very positive outcome to this case based on cooperation with the Alaska State Troopers and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue organization. Both provided a detailed search area and through local knowledge that allowed us to find the overdue boaters within 5 minutes of arriving on scene,” said Lt. Jeffrey Mistrick, MH-60 Jayhawk pilot. “The important takeaway here is that everyone should always be prepared with the skill and equipment to spend more time in the elements than they expect. Wind, rain and cool temperatures can quickly cause hypothermia and hamper survival efforts as we saw yesterday.”


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