2 dead, 3 rescued after boat capsizes north of Sitka

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Chichagof Island north of Sitka

Two people are confirmed dead following a boating mishap near Sitka Tuesday night with three others surviving, U.S. Coast Guard officials say.

According to a Coast Guard statement, a helicopter from Air Station Sitka responded to the scene of an overturned vessel at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday near Chichagof Island, about 25 miles north of Sitka.

Three people were safely recovered from the water by about 5:50 p.m. The Coast Guard cutters Douglas Denman and Kukui, along with an HC-130 aircraft from Air Station Kodiak also responded Tuesday night, tracked the vessel’s drift, and searched the surrounding area for two people who remained missing.

A dive rescue team from the Sitka Fire Department, along with a state trooper, arrived early Wednesday afternoon and deployed an unmanned underwater drone. The bodies of two deceased victims were found in the cabin of the vessel. Recovery operations will begin once on-scene conditions improve.

Initial weather in the area was reported at 8-10 knot winds, with 9-foot seas and below-freezing temperatures.

The three people recovered from the water were flown to the Sitka airport, where they were met by medics.

Alaska State Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said Thursday morning that the families of the victims were still being notified.

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