Coast Guard rescues hunter near Ketchikan, searches for another

mtheriault@adn.comSeptember 22, 2013 

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued one hunter from a remote cabin north of Ketchikan on Sunday and is searching for another hunter last seen leaving in a skiff one week ago.

The men, whose names have not yet been released, were hunting game using a cabin on the Chickamin River off Behm Canal northeast of Ketchikan as a base, according to Lt. Ryan Erickson of Coast Guard Sector Juneau.

The missing hunter left the area in a skiff loaded with fresh game a week ago, Erickson said. His plan, according to authorities, was to drop it at the 44-foot pleasure boat Abundance and return.

He never showed up and the other man spent a week "just wandering around in the woods," Erickson said.

On Sunday morning, observers on a tour boat from Ketchikan saw Abundance adrift with no one aboard near Saks Cove, Erickson said.

After the Coast Guard was alerted, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sitka found the severely hypothermic hunter at the cabin near Chickamin River on Sunday and took him to a hospital in Ketchikan for treatment.

The helicopter crew, along with two Coast Guard boats, is searching the Chickamin River area for the other hunter.

Weather in the area has been "strong and nasty," with winds of 10-15 knots and rough seas, according to Erickson.

"They are searching but it's not as easy as we could hope," he said.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.

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