Air Guard helicopter rescues men from skiff on Cook Inlet

Associated PressNovember 16, 2011 

KENAI -- Two men from Sterling were rescued after their skiff lost power in rough waters in Cook Inlet.

The Peninsula Clarion said the men were stranded in a 26-foot skiff for almost three hours on Tuesday afternoon.

Alaska State Troopers said Charles Smith and Kenneth Maal eventually were airlifted out of the skiff, which was approximately 200 yards from shore near Milepost 8 of Kalifornsky Beach Road. An Alaska Air National Guard helicopter located the boat, which had been tied off to a fishing buoy.

The two men were pulled up at about 5:45 p.m. and were taken to Central Peninsula Hospital.

Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said the skiff had begun taking on water. Seas were choppy at the time with swells estimated at between 5 and 10 feet.

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