Coast Guard rescues Wrangell man

A Coast Guard helicopter this morning (Tuesday) pulled a Wrangell man from his boat this morning as it was sinking.

Forty-seven-year-old Lester Kuntz was rescued in Keku Strait, just south of Conclusion Island.

The Coast Guard launched an unsuccessful search for him yesterday after he was reported missing. Spokeswoman Charley Hengen says Kuntz had been traveling from Kake to Wrangell, when the wind and seas kicked up. She says he had filed a float plan with his family before he left Kake.

Hengen says Kuntz motored into a safe area to wait out the storm, but when the tide went out a hole was punched in his 22-foot Bayliner.

He reportedly had trouble communicating until this morning when he left the area and was able to contact a nearby vessel that relayed a message to the Coast Guard helicopter, which was already searching for him.

She says the helicopter literally hoisted Kuntz from his boat, The Keeper, as it was sinking beneath him.

Kuntz has been flown to Wrangell where he is reportedly in good condition.