Coast Guard locates overdue fishermen in Hoonah

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of two overdue fishermen in Port Frederick near Hoonah with the Hoonah Volunteer Fire Department Saturday.

Eric Larson, 20, and Frankie Brown Jr., 20, residence unknown, were reported overdue from their fishing trip after they missed their scheduled trip to Juneau aboard the Ferry Leconte. The men had reportedly left Hoonah Harbor at 12 p.m. and were scheduled to return at 4 p.m. but never showed up.

The initial report of the missing fishermen was to the Hoonah Volunteer Fire Department, who contacted the Sector Juneau Command Center at 9:27 p.m. for assistance.

The Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew form Air Station Sitka and diverted the 110-foot Cutter Anacapa, which is homeported in Petersburg. The Hoonah Volunteer Fire Department also launched three vessels to search the area.

The helicopter crew arrived in the area of Port Frederick and saw a flashing light coming from shore. The flashing light was confirmed to be the missing fishermen who were safe ashore after the starter had fail on their skiffs motor.

The rescue helicopter crew lowered their rescue swimmer to check on the men while the rest of the crew directed a nearby fireboat to the fishermen.

The Hoonah fireboat crew safely retrieved the missing men and towed their boat back to Hoonah Harbor.

“As the weather continues to warm and Alaskans once again take to the water, the Coast Guard reminds boaters to stay safe and adequately prepare for the unexpected,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Lindsey Basquin, Sector Juneau Operation Unit Controller. “Preparation, safety gear, and filing a float plan can help ensure a boaters safety during an emergency while on the water.”

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