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Video Release: Coast Guard rescues two from grounded skiff near Sitka, Alaska

December 28, 2014
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoists a couple after their 17-foot skiff grounded near Sitka, Alaska, Dec. 27, 2014. The passengers were taken to emergency medical personnel in Sitka. U.S. Coast Guard video provided by Air Station Sitka.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued a man and woman after their 17-foot skiff ran aground near Sitka Saturday.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jawhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka transferred both people to emergency medical personnel in Sitka.

Coast Guard command center personnel at Sector Juneau received a 911 call relayed by the Sitka Fire Department concerning the skiff and its occupants after it grounded near Kanga Bay 10 miles south of Sitka Saturday night. It was reported that both passengers were ejected from the skiff when it struck the shore and the male passenger had suffered injuries to his head and face. The skiff then drifted away from the couple before they could secure it.

The Sitka Fire Department launched a boat to respond and Sector Juneau watchstanders requested a helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka.  The helicopter crew arrived to the scene and hoisted both passengers, and the Sitka Mountain Rescue vessel crew located the skiff.

“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.”

The weather on scene consisted of 11-mph winds and clear skies at 29 degrees.