Coast Guard Hoists Victims of Skiff Grounding in Kanga Bay

Kanga Bay, the location of the sudden grounding and injury of skiff driver on Saturday. Image-Google Maps
Kanga Bay, the location of the sudden grounding and injury of skiff driver on Saturday. Image-Google Maps

One man was injured and a woman passenger is OK after their 17-foot skiff plowed into rocks 10 miles south of Sitka in Kanga Bay on Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

Although it is unknown what the two boaters were doing when their watercraft ran into the rocks in Kanga Bay on Saturday, Coast Guard officials do know that the two were ejected from their skiff when it crashed into the rocks.

19-year-old Chatham Conner suffered head injuries, while his passenger, 18-year-old Alexis Massimiano, was reported to be OK, after the two were ejected from their watercraft onto the rockpile. While they were out of their boat, it drifted away and they could not retrieve it.

The Sitka Fire Department launched a craft to respond to the scene. Meanwhile, Sector Juneau Watchstanders requested a helicopter launch from Air Station Sitka. The MH-60 Jayhawk chopper responded to the scene and lifted both aboard and proceeded to Sitka. Once there Conner was taken to the Mount Edgecumbe Hospital for treatment of his injuries.He has since been released.

“Our hoist capable helicopters are an ideal resource to respond to emergency medical situations in Southeast Alaska,” said Lt. Jason Condon, Jayhawk pilot, Air Station Sitka. “This case was a good demonstration of the collective effort between the Coast Guard and Sitka Fire and Rescue to effectively combine our skills and assets in order to render assistance to these mariners.”

While the Coast Guard was performing their operations, the Sitka Mountain Rescue team located and retrieved the skiff.

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