Coast Guard rescues two of its own

Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009

KODIAK - A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter crew rescued two stranded Coast Guardsmen on Wednesday night after their 18-foot aluminum skiff was overtaken by waves while trying to get underway from Lincoln Island.

Chief Petty Officer Michael Scales, 41, and Petty Officer 1st Class Steffen Frazier, 35, both stationed in Juneau, were cold and wet, but in good condition and needed no medical assistance, the Coast Guard reported.

While attempting to return to Juneau from a hunting trip, their skiff took on water and grounded on a rock. They were forced to disembark and wade to shore in chest high water. On scene weather was reported to be 38 degrees, winds gusting to 20 mph and waves of 3 to 5 feet.

Frazier called Sector Juneau command center at 8:05 p.m. from his cell phone requesting assistance. A 47-foot motor life boat from Station Juneau and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka were dispatched. Inclement weather prevented the boat crew's safe approach, though the helicopter crew landed on the beach at 10:18 p.m. and rescued the men.

The skiff is tied off to the rocks and will be salvaged by the owner once weather permits.



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