Coast Guard rescues man from Gastineau Channel

A 50-year-old man spotted in Gastineau Channel was rescued in downtown Juneau early Wednesday morning, an incident that prompted an emergency police, fire department and Coast Guard response, authorities say.

Juneau police received multiple phone calls at 12:33 a.m. Wednesday alerting them to a man in the water by the lightering dock in Marine Park, Juneau Police Department Sgt. Chris Gifford told the Empire. An officer located the man half out of the water, holding himself up.

“He jumped in the water on purpose, is what we figured out,” Gifford said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Police called the U.S. Coast Guard command center in Juneau, which launched a Station Juneau response boat to retrieve the man. He was then taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital by Capital City Fire/Rescue.

“Through coordination with the Juneau Police Department, we were able to locate and retrieve the man out of Gastineau Channel as quickly as possible,” Sector Juneau command duty officer Lt. Joseph Reitmeyer said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

The Coast Guard also warned others in the statement not to enter Gastineau Channel without appropriate cold weather gear.

JPD Sgt. Gifford said the initial police response was the extent of JPD’s involvement in the case. The man was not taken into police custody.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information from the Juneau Police Department. Also, a previous version of this story erroneously stated that this incident took place Tuesday evening, based on misinformation from the Coast Guard.

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