Search Ends with Success, Southeast Boater Found Alive and Well

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoists a mariner during a search and rescue mission off Hogan Island, Alaska, Aug. 8, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Sitka.
A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoists a mariner during a search and rescue mission off Hogan Island, Alaska, Aug. 8, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Sitka.

After a two-day search for the man in a 16-foot skiff, Gus McConnell, who went missing while following a  larger boat to the community of Hoonah on Thursday, the search ended successfully.

McConnell went missing after the larger vessel reported that they had lost sight of McConnell, who was unfamiliar with the territory.

The Coast Guard was ccontacted and they issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast as Air Station Sitka launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to search for the missing boater.

After not finding McConnell initially, the Coast Guard launched other assets that included a HC-130 Hercules and the Sitka-based Cutter Maple also took up the search that went in to Friday.

Several Good Samaritan vessels also took up the search for the missing man.

On Friday evening, McConnell was spotted on Hogan Island by a Forest Service float plane and that information was relayed to the searching Jayhawk crew. The Forest Service plane put down about two miles to the south of McConnell’s skiff.

The Jayhawk arrived at the scene, a rescue swimmer was dispatched, and McConnell was hoisted by basket into the Jayhawk and transported to Sitka.

The cutter Maple traveled to the scene, located the skiff, took it under tow.

“This was a great team effort between the Coast Guard, federal, state and local partners, and good Samaritans who aided us in searching and successfully locating the missing mariner,” said Lt. Jason Condon, Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot. “We appreciate all the assistance we received during this mission and are glad we were able to get the man the help he needed.”

McConnell, who was found in good health, reported that he ran out of gas and his skiff floated into the north side of Hogan Island.