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Sitka search and rescue prompts trooper warning

By KTVA CBS 11 News 10:07 AM November 27, 2013

Two overdue hunters trigger multi-agency search effort Tuesday night

ANCHORAGE – After overdue hunters prompted a multi-agency rescue operation Tuesday night, the Alaska State Troopers remind travelers communication is key.

According to trooper dispatch, 63-year-old Sitka residents Loren Peterson and James Penny left town in a 19-foot skiff Tuesday morning, intending to return from their deer hunt around 2 p.m. When 5:30 p.m. arrived and the hunters still hadn’t returned from their trip, they were reported missing.

Alaska State Troopers coordinated a search and rescue effort in cooperation with the United States Coast Guard and the Sitka Mountain Rescue. As night fell, three vessels and a Coast Guard helicopter prepared to begin the search. But several hours later, just after 8 p.m., the hunters returned to Sitka in their skiff.

They misjudged the tide, they said, and were temporarily stranded when receding waters left their boat dry on the beach.

“The Alaska State Troopers would like to remind travelers in the outdoors to carry a reliable form of communication and leave a trip plan with someone dependable,” trooper dispatch stated.

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