Coast Guard rescues overdue boaters on Sinuk River

Black and white image of helicopter on the ground.

The watchstanders at the Coast Guard 17th district command center received a call, at 11 p.m. on Oct. 28, informing them of overdue boaters in need of aid on the Sinuk River near Nome, Alaska. The watchstanders directed the launch of an aircrew, Oct. 29, to bring the boaters survival supplies, and a helicopter crew to rescue the boaters later in the day.

The boaters were in an 18 foot skiff, stranded in an air temperature of 28 degrees, 17-mph winds, and less than a 10-mile visibility.

Master Chief Petty Officer Christopher Cole, a 17th District command center watchstander, emphasized how important it is to let someone know where you are going before setting sail.

 “In this case, the boaters told their loved ones where they were going and when they should be arriving at their final destination. This information aided us in locating and rescuing the boaters,” Cole said.

The rescued boaters were transported to the Nome airport on Oct. 29 by the helicopter crew.

Image at top: Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft forward-looking infrared camera captures an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter next to a cabin on Sinuk River near Nome, Alaska, Oct. 29, 2021. The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew picked up overdue boaters and safely transported them to the Nome airport. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak).