U.S. Coast Guard aircrews said they were able to rescue three boaters Tuesday suffering from severe hypothermia on Munson Island.

According to a Coast Guard release, a family member reported receiving a call around 9:50 p.m. from his uncle, who said the 20-foot aluminum skiff was taking on water north of Nunam Inqua while the group was aboard. The call was disconnected though and when the nephew tried calling back he only got his uncle's voicemail. Due to weather conditions, the nephew said he couldn't go help them.

Troopers say they too were unable to search the water because of the weather and had to beach their boat. Weather conditions were reported as three-foot swells and 23 mph winds with gusts up to 51 mph, according to Coast Guard officials.

Around 11:45 p.m. Monday, watchstanders at Coast Guard 17th District command center were notified by an Alaska State Trooper to help in the search.

Coast Guard officials say a Jayhawk helicopter crew along with a long-range surveillance Hercules aircraft team launched to assist in the rescue efforts. 

The Hercules crew said around 4 a.m. Tuesday, they saw a fire and people onshore at the southern tip of Munson Island. The boaters and crews can be seen in a video from the Coast Guard.

Crews said they saw a person waving their hands while the other two were under a blanket. An aircrew dropped radios for communication and additional survival equipment to the stranded boaters.  

The Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak arrived by 6:30 a.m. and landed nearby. The crew helped the boaters and headed to a hangar in Bethel where emergency medical service personnel could transfer them to a Bethel hospital for additional care.

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