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Two Boaters Rescued After Skiff Grounds off Sitka, Alaska

A man and woman ran aground in their 17-foot skiff near Kanga Bay, about 11 miles south of Sitka, Alaska, as they traveled on December 27. Both were thrown overboard, and the man injured his head and face, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert. The boat drifted away and stranded the couple. Kanga Bay is a remote area off of Baranof Island and is only accessible by boat or floatplane (or Coast Guard helicopter).

Around 10 pm, Sitka emergency operators received a 911 call about the couple. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka and a Sitka Fire Department boat responded to the scene. The two people were hoisted from shore into the helicopter and flown to Sitka for medical treatment.

The Coast Guard will conduct an interview with the couple to determine why the skiff ran aground.

Weather at the time of the rescue was clear with 11 mph winds and temperature of about 29 degrees.