Two men saved from sinking skiff in Auke Bay

A good Samaritan floatplane saved two men from a sinking skiff in Auke Bay early Thursday morning, according to Coast Guard Sector Juneau.

Spokesman Lt. Ryan Erickson said the Coast Guard received a call from Coastal Helicopters at about 7:30 a.m. saying there was an orange aluminum skiff taking on water near Battleship Island.

The Coast Guard put out an urgent marine information broadcast asking anyone nearby to respond as the Coast Guard launched two of their response boats.

Before the Coast Guard boats arrived on scene, a floatplane in the area landed in the water and brought the two men safely to shore, Erickson said. The floatplane was owned by Ward Air Inc., a floatplane company based in Juneau.

The 14-foot to 18-foot skiff sank, and the owner later towed it out the water with the help of another good Samaritan, Erickson said. The Coast Guard helped retrieve some floating debris and ensured there was no oil pollution.

Erickson said the Coast Guard never learned the names of the floatplane pilot or the people who were rescued.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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