KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued three jet boaters Sunday whose boats had become stuck in ice, approximately five miles northeast of Hole in the Wall Glacier on the Taku River.
An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted all three boaters at about 8 p.m. from jet boats that were stuck in approximately one foot of ice, and transported them to Juneau Airport.
Watchstanders in the Sector Juneau command center received initial notification from the operator of good Samaritan vessel Nantucket, who reported two of the vessels stuck in ice at approximately 5 p.m. Watchstanders also received a call from a spouse of one of the boaters reporting the party overdue.
Sector watchstanders directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Juneau to proceed to Taku Inlet in order to relay communications and to support the helicopter crew.
“This was a very fortunate night for the survivors,” said Lt. Justin Neal, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot on the case. “Although they had found themselves in a very dangerous situation, they were well prepared with the appropriate survival gear, including mustang survival suits and portable communication equipment. Their reliable communication allowed for us to find their vessel quickly and execute the rescue. This was even more important due to the deteriorating environmental conditions on scene.”
On scene weather was an air temperature of 31 degrees, 23-mph winds and approximately quarter-mile visibility.