Overdue kayakers all found safe

Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Four kayakers reported overdue were located safe in Thumb Cove on the east side of Resurrection Bay Monday by the tour boat Coastal Explorer.

Jimmy Ahern, of Naknek, Mason Hill, Robby Hill and Duke Tibbetts, all of Anchorage, were waiting for the wind to subside before returning to port. Coast Guard aircraft and boats scoured Resurrection Bay Sunday evening and early Monday searching for the four reported overdue Sunday evening from a trip to Bear Glacier.

The group left a float plan with a friend saying they would leave Lowell Point, near Seward, Friday morning and then paddle to Bear Glacier, with their return planned for sometime Sunday afternoon. The friend reported the four overdue to the Coast Guard at 8:50 p.m. Sunday after they had failed to return.

According to a Coast Guard press release, the men were reported to be experienced outdoorsmen but had minimal experience with kayaking. They had extra camping supplies and were prepared for the 23 mph winds and the 1- to 2-foot seas that greeted them Sunday night.

According to the Alaska Division of Parks and Boating Safety, kayakers are only required to carry a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, and kayakers operating at night must also have a night signaling device such as a waterproof flashlight, all of which the group carried.



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