BENCH DEDICATED – Dick Kauffman of Alamo, California, left, takes a photo of a tiled bench dedicated to the memory of his son, Ryan Kauffman, during a ceremony at Sandy Beach Saturday afternoon. The bench created by California artist Susana Arias was placed with the help of Ryan Kauffman's friend and fellow surfer Rick Jarvill. Ryan, who died of brain cancer in 2015, made hundreds of friends during his 15 years in Sitka as an outdoor enthusiast, guide, youth mentor and health promoter. A cookbook, which he illustrated, with recipes made by Sitka community members during his illness is for sale at Old Harbor Books with funds raised going to support palliative care in Sitka. His widow, Kristen Green, and mother, Tina, helped unveil the bench Saturday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

C.G. Rescues 2 Stranded Near Haines

By Sentinel Staff

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter rescued two stranded, hypothermic mine workers Saturday on the Tsirku River, 23 miles north of Haines, the Coast Guard said today.

The two men became stranded Friday afternoon when their vessel swamped and became submerged as they were transferring mining equipment in a remote section of the property. 

The Coast Guard said the two made a shelter in a ditch about 250 yards from the water, but were having difficulty maintaining their fire and became hypothermic.

Alaska State Troopers called for the Coast Guard to rescue the men Saturday morning. They were picked up and flown to Juneau. Both were “mildly hypothermic” at the time of the transfer.

 

The Coast Guard commented in a news release:

“This is one of those cases that reminds us how important it is to prepare for any outdoor activity here in Alaska,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Dave Hastings, an avionics electrical technician on the case. “Having the proper equipment and clothing was their saving grace in this situation. Despite the degraded weather, we were still able to communicate and triumph over the severe winter weather.”

 

At the time of the rescue, winds were blowing over 20 mph, temperatures were low with freezing conditions, and visibility was low.

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