Coast Guard, Wrangell Search and Rescue pick up overdue Point Baker boater

The Coast Guard rescued an 85-year-old overdue boater last Friday on a beach in Steamer Bay, after a Wrangell Search and Rescue crew located the man.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka landed on the beach about 20 miles southwest of Wrangell, picked up Larry Jacobson, of Point Baker, then flew him to Wrangell where he was placed in the care of emergency medical personnel in good condition, according to a Coast Guard statement.

The Coast Guard received initial notification at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday that Jacobson, who left Point Baker bound for Wrangell in a 24-foot landing craft earlier in the day, was overdue to arrive as planned.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the command center in Juneau requested the Air Station Sitka helicopter and crew of Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Denman conduct a search and issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert mariners in the area.

Wrangell Search and Rescue launched two boats to begin searching Thursday evening along with the cutter.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew and a Wrangell Search and Rescue aircraft crew both launched near first light Friday due to unfavorable search weather Thursday night, the Coast Guard reported. The Wrangell crew spotted Jacobson and his landing craft, and relayed the location to the Coast Guard crew.

He was displaying symptoms of early-stage hypothermia but was otherwise in good condition after experiencing complications on his voyage that included poor visibility.

Wrangell Search and Rescue reported to the Coast Guard that it plans to take Jacobson back to his vessel which is secured on the beach at a later date.

“Thanks to a cooperative effort among multiple teams ashore, on the water, and in the air, this gentleman was located and is safe today,” said Lt. Jonathan Orthman, Coast Guard co-pilot on the case. “We’re grateful to Wrangell Search and Rescue for their tremendous partnership, and for finding this man.”


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