Mole Harbor, off of Seymour Canal, is about 20 miles closer to Juneau than Sitka. But since the hunters had already spent a night without shelter, Sitka fire chief Dave Miller says that it was speedier for a team from Sitka Mountain Rescue to hop aboard the Coast Guard helicopter for the early morning rescue flight.

Two hunters are safe after unexpectedly spending the Monday night (10-14-19) on Admiralty Island.

The Coast Guard was notified at about 10:30 p.m. Monday that the hunters, who had taken a dinghy ashore in Mole Harbor, had not returned to the fishing boat that had dropped them off.

The captain of the fishing boat put in the call to the Coast Guard.

Search and Rescue teams in both Juneau and Sitka were alerted, but fire chief Dave Miller says the Sitka team went on the initial response at first light.

“We put two of our Search and Rescue people on the helicopter this morning,” said Miller. “They left here at 7 a.m., flew over to Seymour Canal. And as the helicopter was coming in, they were coming out of the woods.”

According to the Coast Guard, the pair had no medical issues despite having spent the night outdoors. The helicopter landed on the beach and confirmed the identity of the hunters. The captain of the fishing boat was notified, and he subsequently took the hunters back on board.