The U.S. Coast Guard sent out a press release Monday that two people had been rescued from Kayak Island, 49 miles southeast of Cordova, after their plane reportedly ran out of gas and suffered a hard landing on the 28-square-mile, uninhabited island.
According to the release, the two were traveling in an experimental Super Cub when they ran out of gas and were forced to make an emergency landing. The occupants of the aircraft subsequently activated their SPOT beacon, which notified the International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center, which in turn notified the Air National Guard, who then informed the Coast Guard -- who have assets in the area during this time of year -- that the aircraft was in distress.
Coast Guard rescue helicopter pilot Lt. Jon Bartel praised the proactive efforts of the downed aircraft's occupants in their own rescue.
"Being prepared is really important in Alaska, and these two passengers were when they realized they were making an emergency landing on Kayak Island," said Bartel. "They had many signal devices visible in addition to the alert received by the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center."
Those visible signal devices included a large "SOS" that the two stranded passengers formed from the abundant driftwood on the beach.
It was the second rescue by the Coast Guard following a small plane crash in less than a week. The previous crash occurred last Thursday, 53 miles southeast of Cordova, and the aircraft involved was also a Piper PA-18 and was located using a SPOT device.
Fly safe out there.