Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel participate in the rescue of a capsized kayaker near Don D. Statter Harbor on March 21, 2022. (Courtesy photo / CCFR)

Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel participate in the rescue of a capsized kayaker near Don D. Statter Harbor on March 21, 2022. (Courtesy photo / CCFR)

CCFR rescues kayaker near Auke Bay

The kayaker was in the water for more than 20 minutes, firefighters said.

Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel rescued a kayaker who capsized outside of Don D. Statter Harbor on Monday morning.

The victim, a man in his 40s who CCFR did not identify, was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital for evaluation, according to a CCFR social media post.

“At 10:37 (a.m.) we got a call that someone in a kayak had fallen out of his kayak into the water,” said CCFR Assistant Chief Ed Quinto in a phone interview. “He was found between Battleship Island and the boat harbor. He was very far out. He was very fortunate that someone was able to see him and hear him.”

[Don Young dies at 88]

The man was in the water for about 20 minutes before a CCFR boat crew was able to retrieve him, Quinto said. The boat crew was able to retrieve both the man and his kayak, an inflatable type.

“We were able to get him out of the water and into the boat,” Quinto said. “We were lucky we had the right boat operators.”

The man was hypothermic from his time in the water when he was retrieved, Quinto. The man was wearing a life jacket, which likely contributed to his survival.

“After fifteen minutes, you’re going to lose all sensation and ability to swim,” Quinto said. “Make sure your life jacket is on and make sure you have a waterproof radio so you can make a call. Make sure you have contrasting colors so we can spot you. Make sure you’re dressed for the weather.”

Water temperatures in the area are about 35 degrees, according to the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. Unconsciousness in water at that temperature can occur within 15 minutes.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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