U.S. and Canadian coast guards searching for 2 people near Baranof Island, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
KODIAK, Alaska — Coast Guard personnel from the United States and Canada and good Samaritans are searching for two people reportedly in the water off Cape Ommaney on Baranof Island following the sinking of their vessel Thursday night.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka and the good Samaritan crews of five fishing vessels are currently searching for the two people east of Cape Ommaney. The Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur crew and a Canadian coast guard DeHavilland Dash 8 operated by Transport Canada crew are en route.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report of the people in the water from a survivor of the sinking over VHF-FM radio Friday morning. The watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting the assistance of mariners in the area and directed the launch of the Jayhawk helicopter and cutter crews.

“We are working with our Canadian partners to place essential rescue crews in the area and maximize our ability to locate these two people,” said Lt. Ryan Erickson, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “It’s good news they were reportedly wearing lifejackets but the conditions in Alaska are harsh. We are attempting to locate them as quickly as possible as they may have been in the water for as long as 15 hours.”

The survivor was rescued from the beach at Cape Ommaney by good Samaritans aboard the fishing vessel Otter Friday morning. They are currently en route to Sitka. The survivor reported his recreational landing craft sank at about 8 p.m. Thursday night while returning from a camping trip and that all three people had attempted to swim to shore wearing lifejackets.

Weather conditions on scene are reportedly 12 to 23 mph winds and 4-foot seas with good visibility. The seasonal water temperature for Southeast Alaska in August is in the 50s. Anyone with information regarding the missing crewmen are asked to call the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center at 907-463-2991.

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