An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka pose with the family they rescued about an hour earlier from Yamani Islets, Dec. 25, 2020. The aircrew hoisted all four family members to safety after their boat capsized. (Courtesy Photo / Coast Guard Air Station Sitka)

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka pose with the family they rescued about an hour earlier from Yamani Islets, Dec. 25, 2020. The aircrew hoisted all four family members to safety after their boat capsized. (Courtesy Photo / Coast Guard Air Station Sitka)

Coast Guard rescues 4 near Sitka on Christmas

“We want to stress the importance of letting people know where you are going on the water…”

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four boaters on Christmas from Yamani Islets, 27 miles south of Sitka, the Coast Guard announced.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the four boaters — a 50-year-old woman, and her three children ages; 21, 17 and 13 — from shore after their 15-foot vessel capsized, the Coast Guard said in a news release. The helicopter crew transported them to Coast Guard Air Station Sitka where they were reported to be in stable condition.

“We want to stress the importance of letting people know where you are going on the water and carrying multiple forms of communication,” said Scott Cichoracki Sector Juneau command center watchstander in the release. “In this case, we were able to find out from their friends where they were going, and having the handheld radio to talk to the helo when it flew over them helped this family get rescued.”

Watchstanders received initial notification from a friend of the boaters at approximately 11 p.m. of an overdue vessel. Sector watchstanders directed the launch of an aircrew from Air Station Sitka and the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco.

During their search, the aircrew received a distress call over VHF radio channel 16 at the entrance of Necker Bay and was able to make contact with the boaters confirming they were all ashore after their vessel capsized, according to the Coast Guard. On scene weather was air temperature of 35 degrees, 10-mph winds, and 10-mile visibility.

• Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907) 308-4895.

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