That was the confession LAST Sunday when a man borrowed at 14′ Lund skiff from Knudson Cove Marina… and then proceeded to stay out until the next day.
When the boater did not return at 5pm per the boat rental agreement, marina employees called his cell phone — several times but no answer. Local cell service works in many of Ketchikan’s popular fishing areas, so marina staff waited a reasonable amount of time for the boater to get back within cell range. Around 7pm, and after many unsuccessful attempts to connect via clel, marina employees called the US Coast Guard.
Reportedly, the Coast Guard conducted nigh searches but did not find the missing boater until he placed a 911 call form his cell phone at 5am Monday morning to describe his whereabouts. The Coast Guard located and rescued him from the northwest side of Betton Island, across from Helm Bay. It required a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter curfew and a Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 29-foot Response Boat-Small to do it.
He was transported to Knudson Cove Marina where Coast Guard crew walked him up the boat launch ramp to an ambulance for a quick checkup before he sat in his truck about and hour and drove away.
Apparently, in all of the excitement, the Coast Guard failed to bring the skiff back to the marina, but ultimately agreed to go and get it. The 14′ Lund was floating northbound in Beam Canal where they left it. The marina’s skiff was returned with broken flares in the bilge and empty 45 shell casings, pine needles and blood in the hull.
The boater told the marina he had planned to fish Sunday. Almost all of the marina’s boats were rented to anglers that day.
Knudson Cove Marina provides daily boat rentals from 6:30am – 5pm. Marina skiffs are equipped with 4-stroke 20hp Honda outboards and are fully outfitted with life jackets and flares.