KYUK AM

Video: U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Three Hypothermic Boaters Near Nunam Iqua

Oct 16, 2019

On Oct. 15, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued three boaters from Munson Island, located north of Nunam Iqua on the Yukon River mouth. The Coast Guard described the three as “severely hypothermic” in a press release, and transported the boaters to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel for medical care. 

Alaska State Troopers reported the incident to the Coast Guard at 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 14. A nephew of one of the boaters had called the troopers after his uncle had called him to say that their 20-foot aluminum skiff was taking on water. High swells and 51-mile-per-hour wind gusts prevented the nephew and the troopers from attempting a water rescue. 

The Coast Guard flew two helicopters from Kodiak to respond. Around 4 a.m. on Oct. 16, the crew located the three missing people on the southern tip of Munson Island, where the missing boaters had built a fire. “One person was waving their hands and the other two were under a blanket," a Coast Guard press release described. "The aircrew dropped radios to them and established communication, as well as lowered additional survival equipment.” 

At 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 16, the Coast Guard landed nearby on the island and helped the rescued into the helicopter, carrying one onboard. You can watch a video of the rescue here.