Three individuals were rescued and two were found deceased after a vessel capsized near Chichagof Island in SE Alaska on the evening of Tuesday, January 9.
Shortly before 9:00 pm, the police in Sitka, a small town near the sinking, contacted the U.S. Coast Guard regarding a vessel in distress. The Coast Guard and other first responders began a search and rescue operation by air and sea. A helicopter from Sitka located the three survivors in the water roughly one hour after the search began. All three were flown to Sitka, transferred to local EMS, and taken to the local hospital. No reports of injuries to or the conditon of the survivors are available at this time.
Rescuers from the Sitka Fire Department and Alaska Wildlife Troopers traveled to the location of the overturned vessel Wednesday morning to continue the search. Using an underwater drone, rescuers located the bodies of the two decedents in the cabin of the vessel. Due to rough weather and heavy seas, rescuers were unable to recover the bodies but will return as conditions permit.
Weather conditions at the time of the capsizing included 8- to 10-knot winds, 9-foot seats, water temperatures below 45 degrees, and air temperatures hovering around freezing.
Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the decedents. We hope for a quick and full recovery of the survivors.