Coast Guard rescues two more hunters in Southeast Alaska on Douglas Island

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter crew rescued two more men Thursday after the men became stranded on Douglas Island near Middle Point.

Chuck Platt, age and residence unknown, called his wife who in turned called Station Juneau from her cell phone at 9:35 a.m. stating Platt and another man were stranded on the backside of Douglas Island after their 18-foot skiff flipped while anchored during high tide. Station Juneau immediately launched a 47-foot motor life boat crew in response to the call.

Sector Juneau search and rescue controllers issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of the Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew already located in Juneau.

Approximately at 11:15 a.m., the boat and helicopter crews arrived on scene. The Station Juneau boat crew stayed on scene to assist if needed. The helicopter crew landed on the beach and assessed the hunter’s medical conditions. Both were in good condition and taken to Juneau where they needed no medical assistance.

“Local weather and tidal conditions can change very quickly,” said Todd Buck, Sector Juneau operational unit controller. “If you are anchoring your boat while you go ashore to hunt it is very important to ensure that it is anchored well and in a protected location so it will be there when you return. Otherwise, it could be a long walk home or a long wait for a ride. Fortunately these hunters were able to call for assistance and didn’t have to walk along the beach to get back home.”

The skiff sank in approximately 40-feet of water and has approximately 20 gallons of gasoline on board.

On scene weather was reported to be 37 degrees, winds from six to 10 mph and waves of three to five feet.

The Coast Guard reminds individuals to be prepared when enjoying the Alaskan outdoors. Float and trip plans should be filed with family or friends. Wearing appropriate clothing, having a personal survival kit, emergency equipment such as flares and a hand-held radio is recommended regardless of the current weather or trip duration. Alaska weather conditions change quickly and being prepared could save a life.

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