Coast Guard rescues 3 near Hole in the Wall Glacier, Alaska

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka, Alaska, share a moment at the Juneau Airport with three boaters they rescued about an hour earlier, Oct. 25, 2020, near Hole in the Wall Glacier. The aircrew hoisted all three jet boaters to safety after their boats became stuck in about one foot of ice, approximately five miles northeast of Hole in the Wall Glacier on the Taku River. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Air Station Sitka)

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka, Alaska, share a moment at the Juneau Airport with three boaters they rescued about an hour earlier, Oct. 25, 2020, near Hole in the Wall Glacier.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Air Station Sitka)

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued three jet boaters Sunday whose boats had become stuck in ice, approximately five miles northeast of Hole in the Wall Glacier on the Taku River.

An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted all three boaters at about 8 p.m. from jet boats that were stuck in approximately one foot of ice, and transported them to Juneau Airport.

Watchstanders in the Sector Juneau command center received initial notification from the operator of good Samaritan vessel Nantucket, who reported two of the vessels stuck in ice at approximately 5 p.m. Watchstanders also received a call from a spouse of one of the boaters reporting the party overdue.

Sector watchstanders directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Juneau to proceed to Taku Inlet in order to relay communications and to support the helicopter crew.

“This was a very fortunate night for the survivors,” said Lt. Justin Neal, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot on the case. “Although they had found themselves in a very dangerous situation, they were well prepared with the appropriate survival gear, including mustang survival suits and portable communication equipment. Their reliable communication allowed for us to find their vessel quickly and execute the rescue. This was even more important due to the deteriorating environmental conditions on scene.”

On scene weather was an air temperature of 31 degrees, 23-mph winds and approximately quarter-mile visibility.

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