Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, good Samaritans rescue seven near Juneau from capsized vessel

KODIAK, Alaska – The Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and good Samaritans rescued seven people from an overturned 20-foot pleasure boat near Tee Harbor along Favorite Channel about 15 miles northwest of Juneau Monday.

Controllers at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center received a mayday call via VHF-FM radio channel 16 at 11:54 a.m. from the occupants of the vessel reporting that they were taking on water and abandoning ship.

The Coast Guard immediately launched a small boat and crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty moored in Auke Bay north of Juneau and a rescue small boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Juneau also moored in Auke Bay.

Five of the people were recovered by good Samaritans aboard a vessel in the area. Two people became trapped under the pleasure craft when it overturned.

The Liberty’s small boat crew arrived on scene about 15 minutes after the mayday call was received followed by the Station Juneau crew. An Alaska State Trooper crew aboard one of their small boats in the area also responded.

Good Samaritans aboard the 42-foot Juneau-based fishing vessel Loyal Lady recovered a sixth person after he was able to free himself from the overturned boat.

The seventh became free by unknown means and was recovered from the water by the crew of the Liberty’s small boat. He was unresponsive. The 73-year old man was transported to the Alaska State Trooper boat where CPR was begun and the troopers transported him to Auke Bay to an awaiting ambulance.

The remaining six people were transported in good condition to Juneau aboard the good Samaritan vessels arriving at about 2 p.m.

“This was one of those cases that happened suddenly and was over almost as quickly as it began,” said Lt. Byron Hayes, a search and rescue controller on duty at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center. “We were fortunate that there were a number of vessels in the area able to assist after the vessel capsized. We were able to avert an even greater tragedy.”

Names and hometowns of the seven people from the 20-foot pleasure craft are unknown. It is also unknown if they were wearing life jackets.

Weather in the area was reported as south winds at 28 mph with seas to five feet and rain. A small craft advisory is in effect for the majority of the Alaska panhandle.

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