Coast Guard coordinates rescue of two Israeli kayakers near Point Gore

KODIAK, Alaska – The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of two Israeli kayakers using the assistance of good Samaritans aboard the fishing vessel Vigilant four miles southwest of Gore Point Thursday after severe weather prohibited the men from paddling to shore.

The kayakers, names unknown, were visiting friends in the area and had been kayaking for eight days around the Kenai Peninsula from Seward when winds increased to more than 35 mph and seven foot seas.

The Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center in Juneau received initial notification at 3:30 p.m. via satellite phone from a good Samaritan who received a VHF call from the kayakers stating they were in distress. At the same time the Israeli men turned on thier emergency position indicating radio beacon which assisted the Coast Guard in locating their exact position.

The Coast Guard Sector Anchorage Command Center issued an urgent marine information broadcast at 3:41 p.m. to request the assistance of any vessels in the area. Air Station Kodiak launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew at 4:18 p.m. who arrived in the area about an hour later.

Once the helicopter arrived on scene and the kayakers were located, the rescue swimmer was lowered to the men to confirm their condition. Even though the kayakers refused Coast Guard assistance not wanting to leave their kayaks behind, the good Samaritans brought the men and their kayaks aboard the 58-foot fishing vessel Vigilant at approximately 5:30 p.m. with the help of the Coast Guard rescue swimmer.

The Vigilant crew headed to Point Dick with the men and their kayaks aboard and are expected to remain there overnight. They anticipate docking in Homer Friday where the kayakers will disembark. Gore Point is approximately 40 miles directly southeast of Homer.

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