Coast Guard rescues four stranded hikers west of Valdez

17th Coast Guard District NewsKODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Station Valdez 25-foot Response Boat-Small crew rescued two children and two adult hikers stranded near Gold Creek four miles west of Valdez Tuesday.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a call at 5:15 a.m. from Valdez Fire Department personnel relaying a message that two children, ages six and seven, and two adults, ages 21 and 32, had been stranded overnight due to weather conditions and could potentially be experiencing hypothermia. The watchstanders directed the launch of the RB-S crew at 5:32 a.m. to assist the four hikers.

The rescue crew arrived on scene about five minutes after launching, safely retrieved the two children first and then picked up the two adults from shore. The RB-S crew arrived back in Valdez at 5:53 a.m. and safely transferred the four hikers to awaiting emergency medical services with no reported injuries.

“These hikers planned on just taking a day trip, but a combination of weather and fatigue did not allow them to return when they wanted, they were fortunate enough to be within cellular phone range to call 911.” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Kerrigan, a coxswain with Coast Guard Station Valdez. “The Coast Guard recommends anytime you plan on conducting outdoor activities, whether it is hiking or boating, that you inform friends and family of your intentions, giving departure times, routes you’re taking and return times. We also recommend carrying an emergency kit, which should consist of food, water, fire starting tools, signaling devices and multiple forms of communication.”

The weather at the time of the rescue was reported as six mph winds, an air temperature of 48 degrees and fog.

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