Five rescued near Tununak in Bethel region

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter inside a hangar at Cold Bay in early October, so that Kodiak-based air crews can respond quickly during the winter fishing season. (Photo courtesy Petty Officer 1st Class Charly Hengen/Coast Guard District 17)

Five people stranded on a boat without power four miles off the coast of Tununak in western Alaska were rescued on Sept. 29 by the crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter.

The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast after learning that the 22-foot boat was adrift without power, taking on water and dragging anchor, and that those on the skiff had a VHF radio that was running out of batteries.

The Coast Guard was able to make radio contact with family members of those on the boat, who guided them to the area, and hoisted all five people aboard the helicopter.

At the time of the rescue winds were at 40 miles an hour, with six-foot seas. The temperature was 49 degrees.

“Because the family of these folks had VHF radios, and because they had a radio aboard as well, we were better able to locate them and understand their situation,” said Lt. Casey Corpe, co-pilot for the rescue. “Though they did not have a life jacket for every person on the boat, I’m sure that next time they go out they will.”