U.S. Coast Guard

“Alaska is consistently rated very high, in part because of the consistent boating safety programs, such as Kids Don’t Float,” said Mike Folkerts, boating safety specialist for Coast Guard District 17. He said such campaigns and widespread use of life jackets help explain why Alaska saw fewer boating-related deaths last year than in 2018. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

2019 boating deaths, injuries in Alaska down from previous years

Alaska’s high rate of life jacket use likely saved many lives.

“Alaska is consistently rated very high, in part because of the consistent boating safety programs, such as Kids Don’t Float,” said Mike Folkerts, boating safety specialist for Coast Guard District 17. He said such campaigns and widespread use of life jackets help explain why Alaska saw fewer boating-related deaths last year than in 2018. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)
A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka carries out training in Juneau, Alaska, June 26, 2018. (Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard)

Good Samaritans, Coast Guard rescue capsized boaters

Good Samaritans and good life jacket use likely saved their lives.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka carries out training in Juneau, Alaska, June 26, 2018. (Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard)
A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot medium response boat patrols Auke Bay during an exercise in 2018. Coast Guardsmen from Station Juneau aboard a similar boat rescued two stranded kayakers on Couverden Island on May 1, 2020. (Lt. Brian Dykens | U.S. Coast Guard)
A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot medium response boat patrols Auke Bay during an exercise in 2018. Coast Guardsmen from Station Juneau aboard a similar boat rescued two stranded kayakers on Couverden Island on May 1, 2020. (Lt. Brian Dykens | U.S. Coast Guard)
Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard 
                                An MH-60 Jayhawk crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka carries out training in Juneau on June 26, 2018.

Coast Guard flies pump to vessel taking on water

Civilian vessels also responded to the situation.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard 
                                An MH-60 Jayhawk crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka carries out training in Juneau on June 26, 2018.
Coast Guardsmen perform an inspection of a fishing vessel in Sitka Sound on March 19, 2019. (Coast Guard Photo | Ens. Lindsay Wheeler)
Coast Guardsmen perform an inspection of a fishing vessel in Sitka Sound on March 19, 2019. (Coast Guard Photo | Ens. Lindsay Wheeler)
Petty Officer 1st Class Bradley Pigage | U.S. Coast Guard
                                An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter makes an approach on their return to Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, June 5, 2019.

When you need them most: Coast Guard MH-60s and their crew

Sitka aircrews have performed four medevacs in the last week.

Petty Officer 1st Class Bradley Pigage | U.S. Coast Guard
                                An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter makes an approach on their return to Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, June 5, 2019.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the Gulf of Alaska on May 24, 2019. (U.S. Navy | Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anthony J. Rivera)
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the Gulf of Alaska on May 24, 2019. (U.S. Navy | Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anthony J. Rivera)
A submerged boat at Harris Harbor activated an automatic emergency beacon, triggering a search and rescue deployment from local Coast Guard units on Jan. 23, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Emergency beacon triggers Coast Guard search downtown

The Coast Guard traced the signal to a partially submerged boat downtown.

A submerged boat at Harris Harbor activated an automatic emergency beacon, triggering a search and rescue deployment from local Coast Guard units on Jan. 23, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)
Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Knight waits for their fifteen minute swim to be up during cold water survival training at Coast Guard Station Juneau, Jan. 13, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Fun way to start a Monday? Coast Guardsmen go for a swim

The Coast Guard’s idea of a polar plunge is a little more involved.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Knight waits for their fifteen minute swim to be up during cold water survival training at Coast Guard Station Juneau, Jan. 13, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)
Members of Coast Guard Station Juneau aboard a 45-foot response boat—Medium conduct drills near Juneau, Jan. 24, 2018. (Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard)
Members of Coast Guard Station Juneau aboard a 45-foot response boat—Medium conduct drills near Juneau, Jan. 24, 2018. (Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard)
A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka carries out training in Juneau, Alaska, June 26, 2018. (Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard)

Kayaker reported missing near Sitka

The missing man’s kayak was found empty and overturned.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka carries out training in Juneau, Alaska, June 26, 2018. (Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard)
Russ Hazlett (left), a commercial fishing vessel inspector for Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, performs a CFV safety exam in Kotzebue, Alaska, July 10, 2019. (Courtesy photo | U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard pulls out stops in yearlong facilities inspection mission

The state has more than 380 bulk oil facilities to certify, almost all of them remote.

Russ Hazlett (left), a commercial fishing vessel inspector for Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, performs a CFV safety exam in Kotzebue, Alaska, July 10, 2019. (Courtesy photo | U.S. Coast Guard)
An MH-60S Sea Hawk, assigned to the “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, approaches the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as the carrier transits the Gulf of Alaska on May 25, 2019. (MC2 Anthony J. Rivera | United States Navy)
An MH-60S Sea Hawk, assigned to the “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, approaches the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as the carrier transits the Gulf of Alaska on May 25, 2019. (MC2 Anthony J. Rivera | United States Navy)
A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka carries out training in Juneau, Alaska, June 26, 2018. (Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard medevacs teen from wilderness therapy camp

The teenager suffered from chest pains during a hike.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka carries out training in Juneau, Alaska, June 26, 2018. (Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios | U.S. Coast Guard)
A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk searches Gastineau Channel for a possible missing boater after the boat Sealion was found adrift near the Petro Marine docks on Nov. 29, 2019. (Yang-Hui Lee | Courtesy Photo)
A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk searches Gastineau Channel for a possible missing boater after the boat Sealion was found adrift near the Petro Marine docks on Nov. 29, 2019. (Yang-Hui Lee | Courtesy Photo)
Lt. j.g. Jonathan Dillard hustles after the turnaround during a Coast Guard 5K Turkey Trot through Juneau’s harborfront on Nov. 22, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Coast Guard braves foul weather for early Turkey Trot

Coast Guardsmen weren’t about to let rain stop them from winning a turkey.

Lt. j.g. Jonathan Dillard hustles after the turnaround during a Coast Guard 5K Turkey Trot through Juneau’s harborfront on Nov. 22, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)
Lt. Cmdr. Scott Shields, a Coast Guard officer stationed in Juneau, flips a small boat during a boating safety training class at the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. The class will qualify the members to teach students around the state about the use and importance of life vests. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Lt. Cmdr. Scott Shields, a Coast Guard officer stationed in Juneau, flips a small boat during a boating safety training class at the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. The class will qualify the members to teach students around the state about the use and importance of life vests. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)