The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two guests of a Petersburg area fishing lodge Sunday from the shore of a remote bay after their skiff sank the day before.
The Coast Guard says it found the two in Totem Bay on the southern shore of Kupreanof Island, nearly 30 miles southwest of Petersburg just after 11 o’clock Sunday morning.
The two boaters were reported to have left Island Point Lodge the morning before in an 18-foot aluminum skiff. They were expected back by Saturday evening.
When they had not returned Sunday morning, fellow guests at the lodge contacted the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard sent a 29-foot response boat with a Seattle-based crew that’s deployed in Petersburg this year, along with a Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka and the cutter Elderberry.
The crew of the response boat located the two on shore at 11:13 a.m. and transported them to Petersburg. Both men were reported to be in stable condition. One had a minor hand injury.
Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department spokesman David Berg said local volunteers responded to meet the Coast Guard Sunday.
“These two had been out in this lodge’s boat and were fishing,” Berg said. “The boat capsized. They spent a couple hours in the water. Fortunately they were well dressed for weather with rain gear and not a lot other emergency equipment available with them. A lot of that went down with the boat. But they were able to get a small buoy and swim to shore and spent the evening, all night on the beach.”
Berg said the two used that buoy to get the attention of rescuers. They were not transported to the local medical center but returned to the lodge.
KFSK reached out to Island Point Lodge to try to contact the boaters, but the lodge declined to comment. Island Point is one of the sport fishing lodges on the Wrangell Narrows south of Petersburg and guests use the lodge’s skiffs for halibut and salmon fishing in the area.