Overdue boaters found safe on a beach

Two overdue boaters were found safe early Tuesday afternoon on a beach in the Unuk River area north of Behm Canal. (Map of the Unuk River area courtesy Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

Two overdue boaters were found safe early Tuesday afternoon on a beach in the Unuk River area north of Behm Canal. (Map of the Unuk River area courtesy Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

Two overdue boaters were found safe early Tuesday afternoon on a beach in the Unuk River area north of Behm Canal.

The search began late Monday night after a family member reported that Patricia Bishop and Ken Wright were overdue from a boating trip.

Coast Guard spokesman Grant DeVuyst said a search helicopter crew was launched right away, but visibility was poor Monday night, and the helicopter had to return.
Early Tuesday morning, the Coast Guard sent a lifeboat crew and diverted the cutter Chandeleur to aid in the search.

In addition, DeVuyst said another helicopter was launched late Tuesday morning, after visibility had improved. Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad personnel and members of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game also joined the search Tuesday morning.

A Cessna airplane working with KVRS spotted two people and their overturned skiff on a beach.

“They weren’t able to get in close enough to confirm who it was, but our helicopter crew got down there and picked up both people and confirmed it was our overdue boaters. So they are safe,” DeVuyst said.

DeVuyst credits the two boaters for filing the float plan with a family member.

“Because they filed a float plan, a family member knew when they were supposed to be back, and that family member knew to contact search and rescue personnel when they didn’t get back on time, so filing the float plan led directly to their rescue today,” he said.

DeVuyst couldn’t confirm why the boaters had ended up stranded on the beach.

Recent headlines

  • An Alaska Airlines plane at Juneau International Airport.

    Alaska Airlines pilots plan picket over lack of compensation

    Alaska Airlines pilots have reached a breaking point in negotiations with the company, and now have plans to picket outside Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The pilots plan to picket starting at 1 p.m. Monday outside the airport in Anchorage.
  • Obadiah Jenkins tries to help Daniel Hartung pull himself from Six-Mile Creek in Hope. (Photo courtesy James Bennett)

    Homer resident saves kayaker’s life on Six-Mile Creek

    Jenkins was taking a practice run through the class four rapids when a bystander filming the event, noticed another participant, Daniel Hartung, 64, of Indian Valley, flipped out of his kayak and became pinned under a log.
  • Vigor Alaska Shipyard Development director Doug Ward talks with Marine Transportation advisory board member Greg Wakefield inside the not-quite-finished Alaska Class ferry Tazlina. (Photo by Leila Kheiry/KRBD)

    Alaska class ferry Tazlina on track at Ketchikan shipyard

    The Tazlina is the first of two new Alaska Class ferries that the Ketchikan Vigor Alaska shipyard is building for the state. Its two halves are complete and welded together, and shipyard workers are busy getting interior spaces done.
  • The Matanuska sits in drydock for maintenance.

    Fall-winter-spring ferry bookings begin

    The Alaska Marine Highway is taking reservations for October through April sailings. The schedule changed so the Matanuska can get new engines.
X