Coast Guard rescues intoxicated boaters in Gastineau Channel

JUNEAU, Alaska – Two intoxicated boaters were rescued by Coast Guard Station Juneau crew in Gastineau Channel near downtown Juneau after their canoe capsized Saturday.

Personnel at the Sector Juneau command center received a call from a local resident reporting seeing the people in the water near the Douglas Island bridge at 8:14 p.m. A 25-foot Coast Guard rescue crew was immediately launched and located the two boaters and safely brought them into the rescue boat 15 minutes later.

After being rescued if was determined the two were intoxicated and were taken to Station Juneau and counseled on the dangers being intoxicated while boating and the survivability of falling in Alaskan waters. Their medical condition was checked by the city fire department and reported in good condition. Both people declined further medical attention and were released to a friend.

While there is no Alaskan state law against canoeing or kayaking and drinking, it is not recommended. The Coast Guard reminds boaters that operating a motorized watercraft or boat and drinking is against Alaska state law. In either case you are endangering the lives of yourself and others.

Weather conditions at the time of the incident were reported as winds at 8 mph with seas to one foot, overcast skies and rain.

Operation Dry Water, a national public education and enforcement campaign designed to raise awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is being conducted June 25 to 28. The Coast Guard and Alaska Wildlife Troopers will be out on the water conducting patrols and enforcing Alaska’s DUI laws, which encompass operating motorized boats while impaired. Additional patrols may be conducted around the state during Fourth of July celebrations.

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