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Coast Guard rescues boater near Port Graham, Alaska (skiff)

Kids Don't Float program goes to Savoonga
Kids Don't Float program goes to Savoonga (Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard)

Date: Feb. 19, 2013
District 17 Public Affairs Detachment Kodiak

KODIAK, Alaska — An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak rescued a boater Monday after his skiff was swamped near Port Graham in Southcentral Alaska.

The aircrew rescued the man, reportedly in his 50s, just before midnight and safely transported him to Homer where he was transferred to emergency medical personnel at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, and was further transported to South Peninsula Hospital for care.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage were notified at about 9:35 p.m. by a good Samaritan in Seldovia that the boater's 12-foot skiff had become swamped and the boater required assistance prompting the watchstanders to issue an urgent marine information broadcast and dispatch the rescue helicopter crew. The man had reportedly departed Seldovia earlier in day to go fishing.

"Ensuring you have a way to contact authorities or family when you set out on a voyage is critical and can mean the difference between life and death if you run into trouble," said Jimmy Belcher, a search and rescue controller with Sector Anchorage. "In this case the boater was able to use a cell phone to call a friend and then us, but cell phones don't work everywhere in Alaska so we also recommend taking a VHF marine radio with you and filing a float plan to let people know where you are going and when you plan to return."

Weather on scene was reportedly 28 mph winds with 6 to 8-foot seas and an air temperature of about 20 degrees Fahrenheit.