Five people were rescued from Cook Inlet after their boat went down in choppy seas Tuesday afternoon.
Rodney Seaman, of Salmon Run Lodge in Cooper Landing, and the other unidentified boaters were rescued by two charter boats and brought safely to shore at Deep Creek in Ninilchik.
Jim Russo, captain of the Bottom Line Charters vessel out of Ninilchik, said he heard a radio call that five people were in the water off Ninilchik.
“Hooksetters out of Kenai made the call and I knew I was alongside them ... about three miles away,” Russo said.
When Russo’s boat arrived on the scene, the crew first spotted a man floating on an oar.
“The guys in the back of my boat deserve the credit. They got ’em out of the water in about 30 seconds,” Russo said of one crew member and two customers who pulled the people out of the water.
One of the first two men rescued said another man was holding onto a cooler in the water, and when Russo turned to look, he saw the man’s head coming around from behind the cooler.
“We got three and I heard Hooksetters got two so we headed in to get them warmed up,” Russo said.
He said one of the rescued men told him they were in the water 20 minutes.
“I don’t think so. That water’s pretty cold,” he said. “They were hypothermic.”
Seaman and the others reportedly were thrown into the water when a swell swamped the 20-foot open boat they were in. Early reports said they were two miles off shore.
Russo said the rescued men were taken to Marine Services in Ninilchik, where they were met by Ninilchik Emergency Medical Services ambulances.
Bev Hylen of Marine Services said a white Labrador retriever was missing, but as she spoke on the phone, someone came into the boat launch service office with the dog, Adley.
Volunteers found the dog on the beach, cold but otherwise OK.
The identity of the others rescued was not available at press time.
The U.S. Coast Guard Air Rescue Station in Kodiak was called at first, but when they heard the men were out of the water, they did not fly, said Lt. Doug Atkins.
Alaska State Troopers in Anchor Point also were notified, but did not respond when they learned the people were rescued and picked up by EMS ambulance, according to Sgt. Tom Dunn.
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