A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew located three hunters overdue since Dec. 30, 2017, on the south side of Chenega Island in Prince William Sound, on Jan. 1, 2018.
After spotting their 20-foot vessel and a flag on the beach, the Jayhawk crew was able to land, embark the men, and safely transport them to Seward, Alaska, with no medical concerns.
It was reported the men survived by eating kelp and drinking water while staying out of the elements in a cabin they found on the island.
“Starting the new year with a positive outcome to a difficult case is all we can really ask for,” said Michael McNeil, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command duty officer. “Our crews were able to brave the terrible weather, overcome lack of information as to where these men could be, and safely get them back to their family and community.”
The Coast Guard urges mariners to always:
- Stay informed — The public should be aware of weather conditions through local television, radio, and internet. Check weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change;
- Wear life jackets while on the water;
- File a float plan with friends, family members, and local marinas before heading out. The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, the vessel’s destination, and expected time of return;
- Always have a working marine-band radio on board;
- Carry marine flares on board the vessel; and
- Ensure bilge pumps are operational and vessels are secure for heavy winds and rain.