Coast Guard rescues 2 off Aleutian Islands

Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A boat captain and his crewman spent 52 hours adrift in an open 15-foot skiff off the Aleutian Islands before a Coast Guard helicopter lifted them to safety Sunday night.

The two-man crew of the Larissa M, a 50-foot boat, were using the skiff on Friday to pick up a four-man Bureau of Land Management survey crew on remote Amatignak Island.

The skiff's motor hit a rock and became disabled.

The skiff was headed toward surf with 20-foot breakers. Skipper Rod Whitehead said he and crewman Bill Osterback struggled to row to open water.

Whitehead radioed the BLM crew and said they would have to reach his boat to summon help.

The BLM crew built a makeshift raft and paddled to the Larissa M to summon the Coast Guard.

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