The U.S. Coast Guard District 17 released video footage of two people being rescued during stormy conditions on Saturday, Oct. 1 after their boat ran onto rocks in Pavlof Harbor in southwest of Juneau. (Courtesy Photo / U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard District 17 released video footage of two people being rescued during stormy conditions on Saturday, Oct. 1 after their boat ran onto rocks in Pavlof Harbor in southwest of Juneau. (Courtesy Photo / U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard makes rescue in poor visibility

Man and woman safe after boat grounds near Juneau

A man and woman were rescued by the Coast Guard on Saturday after their boat ran onto rocks due to stormy weather in Pavlof Harbor in southwest Juneau.

“Thankfully the mariners had handheld flares that we could see through the driving rain,” said co-pilot Lt. Cody Eager in a news release. “Without those light sources, our chances of seeing them would have been drastically reduced due to extremely poor visibility.”

Despite poor visibility, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka located the man and woman, who were stranded on a beach and were both exhibiting symptoms of hypothermia. They were flown to awaiting emergency medical services in Juneau for medical evaluation.

The people aboard the landing craft Windchaser made initial contact with watchstanders in the Sector Juneau command center around 12:40 a.m., sayingh they were preparing to abandon their boat. Before the Coast Guard lost contact with the man and woman, they reported their landing craft was getting slammed against rocks and that they were both wearing life jackets.

The Coast Guard then launched the helicopter crew, along with a response boat crew from Station Juneau and Coast Guard Cutter Pike, as well as issuing an urgent marine information broadcast to alert mariners in the area.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene and immediately located the survivors. Rescue conditions sustained gale warnings with winds at 25 to 35 miles per hour and gusts up to 40, along with 5-foot seas, low visibility, air temperature of 53 degrees and a water temperature of 51.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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