A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter saved five people from a sinking boat off Tununak Saturday morning.

Reports that the 22-foot boat was “adrift without power” about four miles off Tununak came in at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, according to a Coast Guard statement. In addition to dragging anchor and taking on water, a VHF radio aboard was running out of battery power.

“The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert mariners of the need for help, and diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro,” Coast Guard officials wrote. “The Canadian research vessel Frosti answered the UMIB and headed toward the disabled vessel to assist.”

Two aircraft, a C-130 search plane and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, were launched from the Coast Guard’s Air Station Kodiak. The C-130 crew was able to contact the boat after speaking by VHF radio with relatives of the people aboard. The plane was flying over the area at about 7:45 a.m. Saturday, when the Jayhawk crew arrived and hoisted all five people aboard the boat to safety.

Weather in the area at the time included 40 mph winds and 6-foot seas, with air and water temperatures at 49 degrees.

“Because the family of these folks had VHF radios, and because they had a radio aboard as well, we were better able to locate them and understand their situation,” Lt. Casey Corpe, the C-130’s co-pilot, said in the statement. “Though they did not have a life jacket for every person on the boat, I’m sure that next time they go out they will. Alaskan water temperatures are unforgiving. If something goes wrong on the water, a life jacket often means the difference between life and death.”

The boat’s occupants were flown to Tununak by the helicopter crew.

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