Two hypothermic Kenai men rescued off of Kalgen Island

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Kenai boaters suffering from mild hypothermia were rescued by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island after their 24-foot skiff, Lauren Nicole, became disabled two miles southeast of Kalgin Island around 10:52 a.m. Saturday.

Phillip St. John, 55, and Vincent Bryant, 50, had departed Kalgin Island earlier that morning when they reportedly experienced mechanical problems with the engines aboard the skiff. Bryant used his cell phone to contact the Alaska State Troopers for help which was then passed to the Coast Guard at 6:28 a.m.

The Coast Guard established phone contact with the two men to ensure their immediate safety and diverted the Roanoke Island which arrived on scene at 10:52 a.m.

The rescue crew transferred the two men to the cutter to determine their medical needs while towing the skiff back to Kenai. Once aboard the cutter, St. John and Bryant were treated for mild hypothermia, given dry clothing and blankets to help warm them and later provided a hot shower and a warm meal while on the cutter.

The two men and their skiff were brought safely to the Kenai River boat ramp at 5:51 p.m. and determined no further medical assistance was needed. The rescue crew conducted a routine boarding of the vessel at the dock finding multiple safety violations. St. John was made aware that he was not to use the vessel again until he had met all required safety requirements.

“We always encourage boaters to use the utmost care while enjoying Alaska’s waters,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremiah Mims, a Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstander. “Boaters should always prepare for any emergency while on the water which means carrying the proper safety equipment like flares, life jackets and a reliable means of communication aboard their vessel.”

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